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20 Apr

On Sunday morning, the 8th grade arrived at Ezra Academy, eager to experience the trip of a lifetime. After a bagel breakfast, we boarded a bus, and headed to the airport in Newark, New Jersey. Our plane took off at about 1:30 in the afternoon, and although none of us got much sleep, we enjoyed the ten hour ride. The sun went down as we made our way over the Atlantic Ocean. Looking out the windows as we went over Europe, all we could see was pitch black. But as we crossed the Mediterranean Sea, the sun began to rise, sending orange and pink rays across the horizon, just in time to illuminate the shores of Israel. Just before 7 a.m., we landed in Tel Aviv. For most of us, this was our first time in Israel, and the landing was such a wonderfully satisfying moment; we had been waiting our entire lives to visit our homeland.


Our first stop in our home away from home was the beach at Rishon L’tzion. After a meaningful tefillah with our feet in the sand, we all went wading into the Mediterranean. Can we get a “Hoy-Yah!?” Our educator, Yonit, told a story and taught us the following phrase, “Ani yehudi m’eretz yisrael.”


Another short bus ride brought us to Dig for a Day in Bet Guvrin. After trekking into the earth that was dug out approximately 2000 years ago we had the opportunity to dig and find pottery shards and bones. These items will be tested and used to learn more about the early Jewish settlers and Edomite tribes in the area. Many of us REALLY enjoyed a second walk, crawl, slide through narrow caves. This was amazing because it tested our own limits and also ended up being a team building activity.


Wow! In the middle of what used to be desert, there is an amazing place called Shvil HaSalat. We harvested four colors of carrots and picked tomatoes from the vine. Did you know that Israel invented the cherry tomato? We learned about strawberries growing suspended in the air and smelled Nana and hyssop growing in the herb garden. Then we learned about homing pigeons and released a group of them! check out the pictures to see who came to visit us!


Finally we arrived at our Kibbutz; showered (whew!); ate dinner (yum!); had orientation (rules); and exchanged our “Welcome to Israel gifts.” At bedtime we all received our letters from home.

Looking forward to another amazing day tomorrow!

Layla Tov (Good Night),

Sophia, Marcy, Amalya and the 8th Graders

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  • Andres Gottlieb April 22, 2015 at 1:03 am

    have a blast everyone as you as you appear to be having, there is no place like Israel

  • Ofir&raz April 21, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Hi guys!!!
    We are happy to see you look so happy!!
    Enjoy every minute!!
    We are thinking about you all the time!
    Enjoy Yom haatzmaut!
    Love you guys

  • Betty Norman April 21, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Glad you are having fun. Love the pictures. Posting the on our TV.

  • Staci B.K.A Coach A.K.A JZ'S Mom April 21, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    YOU TOO JZ!!!

  • Gail Korman April 21, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    a trip of your lifetime. Good friends,good food, wonderful country, Enjoy every moment. Also keep putting that sunscreen on. Yes, even you Sky. love ya. journal !,, Grammie

  • Staci B.K.A. Coach A.K.A JZ's Mom April 21, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    LOVE! Can’t wait until tonight, to see Day 2!!!

  • Staci B.K.A Coach A.K.A JZ'S Mom April 21, 2015 at 12:49 pm


  • Staci B.K.A Coach A.K.A JZ'S Mom April 21, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Hi J-
    I have to stop myself from replying to every comment… and you know what a challenge that is for YOUR MOM ;-)!!!
    So I keep looking at the pics, over and over again… they’re such great shots, and I know those cherry tomatoes were the best!!! We’re they orange?!?!?
    Denise, Lexie, Cathy and Nina, send their love! Jakey is doing fine, DON’T WORRY!!!
    To My Varsity Boys…
    I can’t wait to hear all about your basketball game, when you play our friends over there.
    I am looking forward to seeing more of those beautiful smiles.
    Be kind to each other and of course to Morah’s Amayla & Marcy. Have fun!!!
    Jz –
    You are my heart! I love you, Oceans…
    Hugs and kisses to you all

  • Harriet April 21, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    BTW, Sophia and Zach —what are yo ueating on the beatch??Chocolate?? Already??

  • Donna Hamilton April 21, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Hola from Senora Hamilton! You all look like you’re having a spectacular time! You are all so honored to have this opportunity! Be safe! Love looking at all the pics and seeing updates of what you are all doing!

  • Hilary April 21, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    To my mini-me… (Jenna)

    Just wanting my mini-me to know that Grammie and How-How are driving me crazy. I can’t get the pictures and the blogs to them fast enough. They say your pictures look like mine. I can’t wait to compare them!!! Moo is acting all needy. She knows you’re gone. She’s been in your room. I know because I close the door and she opens it (who else would?) You’d best bring home Israeli catnip or …. well, you know…. yummies.

    And so you know, these pictures are all over facebook. So many people sending you well wishes and love. Keep having the timne of your life, and send my love to all our friends you see.

    I love you…. and I love you more….. I love you most.
    ~ima (aka MomDad)

  • Evan Wyner April 21, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Hi Ari! Looks like you are having a great time. Looking forward to seeing more pictures tonight!

  • Laura Gabor April 21, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    So happy to see your smiling faces! Have fun! The school is so quiet without you – we miss you all!


  • Steven April 21, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I agree. It’s probably chocolate. I think the 8th grade should perform farm labor for the entire trip. And if Elijah can excavate a 3000 year old cave, why can’t he excavate the pile of clothing in his closet?

    It all looks like such meaningful fun.

  • Miriam (a.k.a. Rafi's mom) April 21, 2015 at 10:34 am

    What an amazing day! So full of joy and incredible experiences; your faces are radiant with it all plus Israeli sunshine! Sending lots of love!

  • Neil April 21, 2015 at 2:40 am

    What an amazing first day! Most people don’t do that much in an entire week!!! Love all the photos and all the smiling faces. Enjoy, travel safely, and be well.

    I love you Ben-My-Man, Dad

  • Carmi Kostolitz April 21, 2015 at 2:34 am

    Hi Maya!
    The trip looks awesome & it looks like you’re having lots of fun & adventures!!
    We miss you & love you very much. Be nice to Morah Amalya & Marcy!!
    Love to everyone in the class,
    xox Mom

  • Ethan Bershtein April 21, 2015 at 1:28 am

    Elana, hope you are having fun!!! Dad is literally standing over me as I write this comment. I would do anything to trade places with you right now. Seriously. Enjoy it while it lasts!!!! Pics look instagram worthy. See you soon and enjoy the rest of the trip.

  • cheryl wolansky April 21, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Hi Everyone! Looks like you all hit the ground running! Glad to see you eating your veggies…did you dig up a dinosaur? Was that Flat Stanley I saw in a picture? Jake wants to know if one of your leaders is Yael? He thinks she was with his group in Israel too. Take care everybody! Cant wait to read tomorrow’s blog. Love ya Zach. Mom

  • David & Heather Korman April 21, 2015 at 12:49 am

    Ezra Class of 2015,

    Looks like you are enjoying your trip so far. I know it’s only been a day. I know that the whole community is proud of you. Enjoy every moment and I know that the rest of your trip will be as sweet as the strawberries you ate today.

    Sky, Thunder is missing you and so are the pigs. Take in every second.

    Love & Miss You
    Mom & Dad
    David & Heather Korman

  • Stacey April 21, 2015 at 12:33 am

    Looks absolutely wonderful! Hoe you can all catch up on some sleep! So happy to follow your adventures!!

  • Karen Bogdanoff April 21, 2015 at 12:10 am

    What a beautiful first day of pictures!!! You guys packed a lot of activities in on your first day in Israel!!!
    Keep up the good work. Love to all, especially ELANA.

  • Stephanie & Eric Grubman April 21, 2015 at 12:08 am


    It all sounds fantastic! We miss you and hope you are having fun. Sheva and Dad are sleeping in your bed, so don’t worry about a thing. Jack and the twins say hi also. Have a great time. We look forward to reading about your adventures, and hearing about them when you get home!

    Love you,

    Mom and Dad (Stephanie and Eric)

  • Katya April 20, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    ELIJAH !!! Hey buddy, looks like you are having a super time. This trip will be unforgettable, don’t do anything stupid..well…just don’t chase people around with a giant clump of burnt marshmallows. Haha. Make sure you shower and use deodorant. Eat good food, laugh a lot, prank a little. Make memories. Use your “bargaining skills”. Jaden says he reached level 14… Batsheva says, tell Nir and Amit she misses them, and that she misses you too. She also says if you think it’s poop, it’s probably chocolate…eat it. (Amalya, Batsheva really hopes you remember this from her Israel trip.)
    Have funnnn !!!!

  • Sara Labowe April 20, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    The Talit, the Kippa, the Siddur, the Tefilin AND the SHADES!
    Davening has never been so cool!

    Remember your sunblock and hat and always remember how much I love you and miss you!


  • Sara Labowe April 20, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Love that photo of you under the strawberry!
    How sweet it must have tasted. 🙂
    Love you, Mom

  • Harriet April 20, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    You all look so happy. Thank you for sharing your words and pictures. It is making this family (I bet all of your families) joyful too.
    Love and hugs and kisses

  • Harriet April 20, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    You all look so very happy, And, in sharing your adventures with words and pictures, you are filling this family (I bet all your families) with joy too. Love to you. Big hugs and kisses…

  • susan schiff April 20, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Wow!! I wish I were there with you. If Ben ate a vegetable then miracles do happen! I miss you all and miss Ben the most. Be safe and be happy! With love to all of you, Susan

  • Staci April 20, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Amazing!!! Almost feels like I am with you!!! You guys look great!!! Keep posting pics and please take care of each other!!!
    Love & miss you all!

  • Beth Messina April 20, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    I am so glad that you arrived safely. It looks like you are already enjoying the beauty of the land. Keep enjoying because there is LOTS more to come!
    …and be sure to keep an eye on Morah Amalya and Morah Marcy…those two are trouble 😉
    Have fun!
    Morah Beth

  • Hilary April 20, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Jackie, I can only guess how quiet. Rabbi Amanda must be bored without the 8th grade!

  • Jackie April 20, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    What beautiful photos! You all look so happy. It is too quiet here without you. Miss you all!

  • Hilary April 20, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    You all look so happy!! And you’re eating veggies, hooray!!!
    We all wish we were there with you.

    Love you all.

  • Ali Cranshaw April 20, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    BEAUTIFUL!!! We miss you so much!! Have a great time!

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