After the first few weeks here, I didn’t think this summer could get any better. My days were filled with internship work in the morning, exploring Jerusalem in the afternoons, going out to bars in the shuk at nights, and traveling across Israel on the weekends. Then we had our first real overnight trip up north. Our group packed our bags and descended from the hills of Jerusalem last Tuesday morning to traverse the beaches of Haifa. Over the two-day trip we went on a number of hikes in the Gilboa, Carmel, and Golan, had a delicious lunch in a Druze village, competed in rafts we built ourselves to see who could make it down the Jordan River the fastest, and learned about the historical, geographic, and military significance of the Golan Heights.

Kayaking by Aviva Weinstein
(Courtesy photo)
My favorite moment of all, however, came at night. We were staying in a youth hostel overlooking the Sea of Galilee. A few members of my group got together to sit on the edge of the hill as we watched the sunset. Perfect blue skies transformed into a picture-perfect view of the night sky with stars visible for miles with little light pollution. One of the boys brought out his guitar and we sang camp-like songs for hours until finally going to bed, only to wake up a few hours later to watch the sun rise in the same exact spot. It was almost magical, a moment I will cherish for a long time.
What is perhaps most amazing is how well our group meshes together in general. It makes me excited to return to Boston, where we will be able to watch the same sun rise over the Charles River back in the States. I cannot wait for our other trips this summer where I will get to see even more of the country and strengthen my friendships with my fellow group members.
Aviva Weinstein, Brandeis University ’23, is an anthropology major interning at the Ethiopian National Project through the Boston Onward Israel program. 125 students from Massachusetts colleges have professional internships in their fields of interest in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa this summer. Visit for more info.

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