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21 Apr

What does Ezra Academy have in common with Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty?!?!



To start our hike, we went to Ein Avdat. After walking to the waterfall we were able to climb up the cliffs. This was not just a normal walk… we had to climb up m-a-n-y steep steps and all the steps were different sizes, different shapes, different heights. There were two ladders that we had to climb up. Don’t worry, they were cemented into the rock. Even though it was tiring, sweaty and even scary for some of us, in the end, it was all worth it! Being able to overlook what we had just climbed up was an incredible experience. After drinking a lot of water, we had tefillah led by Ari, Ben, and Ally. To end tefillah today, we were given time to write in journal. This was a time to really reflect on what we had just accomplished. Some of us wrote poems or drew pictures.


Now, it was time for lunch. The class went to a place called Chan Hasharayot There, we had a lunch of chicken, rice, salat, potato and flat pita called laffa. For dessert, we had cookies and sweet tea! After the amazing lunch, we got to ride camels! We were told that when we got on, we had to lean back and hold on tight, because the camels had to stand up; we didn’t want to fall off! Everybody was surprised at how weird and different it felt than riding a horse or a pony. The camels were connected by ropes and were led onto a trail through the desert, with us on their backs. The landscape was gorgeous, and was like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Time to cross camel riding off of our bucket list!


Later, we visited David Ben Gurion’s home in Kibbutz S’de Boker, and his tomb, both in the Negev. We learned about his life and his dreams he had for the land of Israel. In his hut in the Kibbutz, we observed his office (and library; there were a lot of books!), and other rooms in which he spent the last years of his life. The site in which he was buried was beautiful. The area was very high up, and the machtesh of the Negev stretched out on either side of us as far as we could see. Ben Gurion was buried next to his supportive wife, Paula, and we all placed stones on both of their graves, in respect. It was amazing to realize how much he had done for the people of Israel, and his visions coming to life all around us.

In Ben’s words: “there is no place I rather be”

The day is not over, we are on the way back to the kibbutz to have dinner and get ready for the Yom Hazikaron ceremony.


Stay tuned,


Skylar, Hana, Sophia, Marcy and Amalya

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  • Eileen Glickman April 22, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    We are SO happy for all of you.t The pictures are wonderful! It is so great to be able to follow along on this fabulous trip. Ben, continue to enjoy this amazing journey. Be safe, well and happy! With all of our Love, Nanny and Poppy

  • Staci (A.K.A. JZ'S crazy Mom) April 22, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    I was wondering the same thing, Hilz!!!

  • Jenna's ima April 22, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Staci, I’m wondering when we get Day 2, part 2!!!

  • Staci (A.K.A. JZ'S crazy Mom) April 22, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Anxiously awaiting more pics!
    Miss & love you, baby boy… oceans!!!

  • Jenna's ima April 22, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    I have to say…. It’s very weird not to stop at school every day. Jenna, my not dropping you off makes it hard to want to get up. Even the idea of Starbucks or dunkin… U know what? I’m going to have an iced coffee in your honor today. I love you so much. And so does moo. (Andeveryone at the JCC says hi too!!!!)

  • Melanie April 22, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    We miss all of you! THe school is way too quiet. It looks like you are having a great time! Were the camels smelly?

  • susan schiff April 22, 2015 at 10:24 am

    All of you look wonderful! The trip has only begun and you have seen and done so much. Every two minutes Grace says “I miss Ben.” I’m with Grace! Enjoy every amazing second. I love you BenjiBean and I miss you.
    p.s. My favorite pix are of the camel ride. I would love to do that! Did any of the camels spit? I hear that that’s very charming. xoxoxo

  • Neil April 22, 2015 at 6:45 am

    What a fantastic adventure, and you’ve only been gone for 2 days! I agree with Ben, “there’s no place that I’d rather be” than sharing in such a great trip with all of you. But alas, I am confined to boring Connecticut. So I will live vicariously through the great stories and great photos. Thanks for sharing. Travel safe and be well.
    Love you Ben.

  • Sara Labowe April 22, 2015 at 4:53 am

    WOW! What an amazing day! The Negev is one of the most spiritual places on Earth and I am so happy you had the chance to experience it. How yummy the Bedouin feast looked; it must have been delicious! From the camel rides, to the big hike up and the view at the top, I can see from all your photos how exciting your trip is. Elijah, honey, how did everything look from upside down while you were “standing” on your head? I laughed out loud when I saw that photo you. I miss you and I love you very much! Keep enjoying yourself, learning much and keeping safe! xoxoxo Mom

  • Stephanie Green and Jack April 22, 2015 at 3:33 am

    Hi Ally,
    Looks like you had a fantastic day! Keep the pictures coming! I tried my best but Jack stole your fluffy pillow- sorry. He promises to give it back when you return. We want to know if you all named your camels. His was named Bessie. Keep smiling and having a great time. We miss you and love you!!

  • Eric Grubman April 22, 2015 at 3:03 am


    looks like a great time. Sheva and I have moved into your room. We divided up the room. Sorry about the mess

  • Dad and Stefan Kostolitz April 22, 2015 at 1:44 am

    Don’t forget to check your boots for scorpions in the morning!!!

  • Stacey April 22, 2015 at 1:26 am

    So great to see your face Ari! You look really happy. Hope you’re enjoying the beauty surrounding you and that you capture some of it in your photographs. Looking forward to your next adventure! Food looks amazing!
    Love you xoxo

  • Miriam April 22, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Amazing beauty, new surroundings in an ancient place, new experiences, and so much unity and joy as a group! Enjoy! Sending love, Mom

  • Lisa Safian April 22, 2015 at 12:52 am

    You all look like you are having such a wonderful time! Each activity looks better than the next (except those camels, they look smelly!). I wish I were there with you guys.

    Love you Alana – Mom

    PS – Oreo has taken over you bedroom

  • Jenna's ima April 22, 2015 at 12:34 am

    Drama poses are what they do best!!! Classic.

  • Cheryl (Zach's mom) April 21, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Hi Everyone!
    Love seeing your happy, smiling faces. Stop having so much fun without us!!! Camels didn’t look so happy, though. My favorite pics are the ones with all of you together. Can’t wait to hear all the stories. Looked like you really were enjoying your chicken meal. Zach–how’s the video blog going? Can’t wait to see it. Enjoy, everyone. Marcy & Amalya–thank you, thank you for taking such good care of our kids. I miss you all; especially my wacky Zach.

  • malachi light April 21, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    I was worried Elijah would fall off the wall! I hope he didn’t.

  • Jackie B. aka Aunt Jackie April 21, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    I am enjoying the pics so much! Amalya and Marcy – you look FABULOUS. KIDS – YOU LOOK SO HAPPY. I am so happy for you, but still jealous. Brings me right back. To the bloggers – what an amazing job you are doing. You write so beautifully. Your LA teachers must be so proud of you. I can’t wait for part 2. Miss you all.

    Elana – we love seeing you having such a great time and with such a beautiful smile on your face. We miss you. Love from Aunt Jackie and Uncle Robert

  • Jonathan Freiman April 21, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Your smiles are all so huge – how wonderful. And the arms draped around each other. Camaraderie everywhere. And the desert behind it all, in all its awesome silence. Remember the odd connection between “midbar” (desert) and “m’daber” (to speak). From the silence of the desert comes speech, from its rocky loneliness comes language. You’re in your own B’Midbar right now. Enjoy the journey!

  • Mimi April 21, 2015 at 10:07 pm


    You all look like your having a great time. It sure doesn’t look like Vermont. Make sure that you take lots of pictures because you will have to present them all to everyone back in Vermont. We are so happy for you and I know you will remember this journey for the rest of your life. Continue your journey and we will all be following you…..
    Love you very much, Mimi

  • Staci Jz's Mom April 21, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    My bad… The day is NOT over!!! I’m so excited, MORE PICS… HOORAY!!!!

  • Harriet April 21, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Having fun without me again! (I guess this is a harbinger of years to come…)
    But..Sophia..what’s with the naked eyes? Sun glasses, at least hanging off your shirt.

  • Staci B.K.A Coach A.K.A JZ'S Mom April 21, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    I was thinking the same thing 😉

  • Carmi Kostolitz April 21, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Hi everyone,
    What a fabulous adventure the day must have been! The scenery looks beautiful and you guys look happy & well fed, Beduin style!
    I have to admit I’m a little jealous!!
    Enjoy these days to the fullest, and stay safe & well.
    Love you Maya papaya…
    PS. What’s with the drama poses??


  • Laura Grubman April 21, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Love following you all on this awesome trip.

  • Heather & David Korman April 21, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Looks like another great day on your adventure. Your lunch looked great. Everyone looks so happy..


    The backyard is not big enough for a Camel. You will have to leave your new friend behind. I hope you found your shoes. Mommy said that they are in a zippered compartment in the front of your suitcase. Use the sun screen.


    Mom & Dad

    David & Heather

  • Staci B.K.A COACH A.K.A JZ's MOM April 21, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    OMG!!! You guys look like you are having the best time!!! I so wish I was there with you… However, I can’t really picture myself doing the whole camel thing!!!!
    I am LOVING the pics, so cool!!!!
    Your expressions are priceless!!! I miss you more than you will ever know, but seeing you happy, makes it so worth it!!!
    Please be safe and continue to take care of each other. Take it all in !!! I will look forward to tomorrows blog. I can’t even imagine how totally awesome (sad & joyous) the next two days will be… take lots of pics, journal and please USE TONS OF SUNSCREEN!!!
    Much love to all,

  • Evan Wyner April 21, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Looks like an awesome day! Hiking and camels! Love to see the pictures and the smiles!

  • Michael Safian April 21, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Day 2 part 1 – WOW! Can’t imagine what part 2 holds in store.

    Looks like everyone is having a great time, I see lots of big smiles and grins. Even Amalya and Marci and smiling.

    Alana should know that the Rangers won last night and lead the series 2-1 with game 4 in Pittsburgh tomorrow. I’ll keep her updated.

    Miss you, but know you’re having a great time.


  • Jenna's ima April 21, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Oh what a great day you guys had. Camels are kind of freaky. I rode one once in high school. Alone. And Jenna made me ride one when she was 4 (she rode an elephant too).

    I wish we were on that hike with you. So beautiful. I know my professional photog took some great shots.

    Love to you all. Keep watching each other’s backs…. I love you tons…. all of you!


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