Today we woke up early and had a luau tefillah led by Maya and Elana. Skylar prepared songs from different decades to sing our tefillot using the melodies. It certainly woke us up. After breakfast we had an hour and a half drive to K’far Kedem. That is where we learned how people made bread a long time ago and we rode donkeys. When we first got there, our funny instructor Amir showed us how the people a long time ago planted wheat and made bread. We got to dress in the biblical garb, and it made it feel more real than wearing our boring regular clothes. We grind wheat into flour then put the dough on an oven and then ate the tasty creation. The bread was amazing and it tasted warm and delicious. Then it was time to ride the donkeys. We split up into pairs and we all chose a donkey. Elijah and Zach got theirs, and they named it “Itamar” after our guard because the donkey was white and majestic like him. Half of us rode for the first half of the ride, and the other guided. We stopped in the middle to look at Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi’s house and a burial sight for an Israeli Soldier. Then the partners switched and we rode the rest of the ride. The whole ride was about 40 minutes. Then we did a short activity with the Israeli flag while lunch was prepared for us. We ate pita with choices of putting in humus, salad, chicken, or kabob. We were then interrupted at the end of the meal by two cute, unintentional dogs that came and ate some of our food. We then had some time to look at the gift shop where a few of the kiddies in the class bought the “Do it on a donkey” shirt. We then got on the bus and left for our new and exciting adventure.
After the fun donkey ride, we went to a place called Caesarea. It was an ancient Roman city and base. When we first arrived, we went to the theater. It was fun because Elana, J.Z, Elijah, and Skylar got to go on the stage and sing twinkle twinkle and happy birthday to hear the advanced acoustics. Even though the theater was 2000 years old, we could still hear the people who were talking in a normal voice on the stage. After that, we went to the area called the hippodrome. This is where they had chariot races and gladiator battles. We learned about what happened during these events. After the short time at the hippodrome, we went to an area where there was a beach. Swimming was not permitted, but we took pictures, looked for rocks and sea glass, and learned the story of Hannah Senesh. She was a young girl from Hungary who helped settle kibbutzim and also lived in one in the area. She was a paratrooper in the British Army. At one point, we were taught that she went into a concentration camp and tried to liberate Jews, however, she was caught and executed when she was 23 years young. We learn from Hannah Senesh that all individuals have the capacity to act on their own beliefs. Although our time walking on the beach was fun, it was very hot out and we couldn’t wait to get to the air conditioning. We went to a small indoor theater where they showed us a quick movie on the history of Caesarea. We all got cooled down so it was time to go outside and to shop. Some of us went shopping, while others went to an ice cream and gelato parlor for a sweet treat. We later traveled on a very long two-hour bus ride to go to our new hotel.
Ben, Zach, Skylar, Marcy, Amalya and the 8th graders