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23 Apr


For Erev Yom Ha’Atzmaut, we went down to Ben Yehuda Street, where bright lights and noise filled our souls! After a while, we decided to raise some money to get an Israeli flag from a nearby stand. “How do we raise the money?” we thought to ourselves. Then we came up with an amazing idea. We would stand on the corner of Ben Yehuda and dance with a hat in front of us! People would see how awesome our dancing was, of course! They would be sure to donate to us to get the flag! So we clapped and laughed while Elijah L-S danced. Soon, people began to crowd, put shekels in our hat, and record us singing and dancing. We continued to rap our song from the Hannukah play, sing songs by Matisyahu, and be our funny, lovable selves! We raised enough money alongside a Euro and four Polish coins and eventually got our flag. Next, we walked down the street only to be sprayed by foam and silly string from cans while we drank hot chocolate! We also were thrilled to spend this crazy and magical 67th birthday for Israel with Nir and Amit!! Yup, that’s right. Our Nir and Amit came to visit us!! As you can see the night was fun filled!

Today, on Yom Ha’Atzmaut, we traveled to the Old City where we went to a private section of the Kotel. We took out all of our tefillah gear and Jenna, Hana, and Elijah L-S lead our session. They lead us through an emotional service in the siddur. Then, our amazing Torah readers, Rafi, Ally, and Sophia, read beautifully for our first Torah service in Israel.

Next, we took a tour of the underground tunnels in the Western Wall and we were able to see the length all the way to the northern wall. We also got as close to the Temple Mount as can be. After that, we each had our own private time at the Kotel. The girls slipped on their skirts and the boys started enjoying their free time before we separated. Eventually, we made our way to the Kotel, where we each put in a note. Yonit then took us to Robinson’s Arch which is still the Western Wall but on the southern end. The entire length is 1400 feet and we got to see both ends of it! While sitting on the uneven steps near the Hulda Gate, we were so thrilled to see a group of four jets fly by in formation and then swing around and fly directly over the Temple Mount. So cool!

After that, we all were given shekels for spending and for lunch money. We went to the square where some people got some of the best burgers, falafel, and shwarma ever! We later went to the Israeli Museum and visited archeological finds that we were astonished to realize were found at the same exact site we dug at the first day in Bet Guvrin!

Expect phone calls from your children Friday afternoon. Our next blog will be after Shabbat. We wish you a Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem!

Maya, Ben, Elana, Marcy, Amalya and Eighth Grade


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  • Mimi April 24, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Skylar, what were you looking at? At first I thought you were catching sun, but it must of been the jets flying by. You all look great and that your having fun. I enjoyed the pictures of all the girls in their skirt, but it also would have been nice to see everyone dancing. What a stage!
    Keep trekking! I’m enjoying the trip…..
    Don’t mind your Dad, he just wishes “America’s Got Talent” would call him. Ha! Ha!

    Sweet Dreams and Good Night!
    Love Mimi

  • Debbie Roth April 24, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Hi Everyone,
    This is Mrs. Roth. It sounds and looks like you are having a fabulous time!! I’m thinking about you guys. Enjoy every minute.

  • ILA (for Alana) April 24, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Wow! Each day seems better than the day before! What a wonderful time you all must be having. Papa Marty and I love the pictures and reading about your event filled days.
    Even SOFI wishes she was there with you!
    I hope someone filmed the dancing and singing for shekels-
    Love and miss you,
    Ila and papa Marty

  • Marty feldman April 24, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    What wonderful moving images of everyone praying at the wall. What an experience. I wish I could have seen everyone dancing. And now on to spend Shabbat in Jerusalem. I wish I was there with you , Hana, and everyone else. I can’t wait to hear your stories personally and I really love seeing laughing happy faces on everyone. Shabbat shalom to you Hana, and to all.

  • Elijah's Mom April 24, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Hi Honey, wow! What an amazing celebration you had with your friends and teachers! I’m sure the boys’ crew will enjoy hearing about the fun you had dancing on Ben Yehuda street. How cool is that!? And I was thrilled to hear that you saw Nir, Amit and Shayna, too! Yasher Koach to you and to all your friends on leading the service and davening at the kotel. What a special experience. I am so very happy for you. I love reading about all your adventures and wonderful times and I am looking forward to hearing about everything in person when I see you. Have a relaxing, peaceful and joyous Shabbat. Gd bless you and keep you safe. Missing you and sending big hugs, kisses and all my love, Mom xoxoxoxo

  • Dan Grubman April 24, 2015 at 5:05 am

    Sounds like yesterday was really fun. Keep up the good work! Also, I’m calling shenanighans on those toooootally candid photos. I wish I got some of the photogenic genes. Well, goodnight to me and good morning to you, snugglepugglepuffs!


  • Staci (A.K.A COACH MOM) April 24, 2015 at 4:40 am

    Z & J-
    How bout a nice pic of you two?!?!?! PLEASE???
    Love you both

  • Staci (JZ'S PROUD MAMA) April 24, 2015 at 4:34 am

    Yes Hilary… I certainly am!!! And YES, that picture brought me to tears!!! It made my heart smile…
    PROUD is an understatement!!!
    Mabel sends her love to all of you. We had a great time being together tonight, as always!!!
    I am anxiously awaiting your call today… It’s so good to see all of your smiling faces…
    I know this is the last blog until after Shabbat… so Shabbat Shalom to you all.
    Hugs and kisses to you all… I miss you, my baby boy and can’t wait to hear your voice!!!
    With heartfelt thanks to Morah’s Amalya & Marcy
    Ps. Your picture brought Morah Jacqui & I to tears when we saw it!!! I AM KVELLING!!!

  • Miriam April 24, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Rafi and all…. so great! Davening at the Kotel. Entrepreneurial dancing on the street. Yummy Israeli food. Good friends. Sounds like an amazing day! love (Rafi’s) Mom

  • Harriet friedman April 24, 2015 at 2:10 am

    Hey Sophia and friends..why didn’t you come up with this fund raising scheme when we parents were squeezing our brains trying to come up with big bucks methods to get you where you are???? OK ok. I guess I can always just resell the girl scout cookies found in your room….to your brothers. Much love from me and aba and Aaron and ben

  • Evan Wyner April 24, 2015 at 2:06 am

    Hi Ari! It Lila line you are having a great time! Davida and Amit both sent great picture.s. Thanks for delivering the parents. Can’t wait t talk to you! Mom and Dad

  • Eric Grubman April 24, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Ally, It all sounds amazing. Sheva seems to be very interested in your fish. I am a bit concerned. Love, Dad

  • Staci (A.K.A. JZ'S crazy Mom) & the rest of the crazy rents! April 24, 2015 at 1:30 am

    We are celebrating in honor of you guys, and we love you all!!!

  • eileen glickman April 24, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Loved reading about your day, Ben! Everything that you did sounds so wonderful. The pictures are Fabulous! It is so great to be able to read about your days and to see these wonderful pictures. All of our Love, Nanny and Poppy

  • Karen Bogdanoff April 24, 2015 at 12:27 am

    Hi Elana
    Love the Israeli flag headband!! Also Shelly posted some great pictures on facebook of you and Abby. Hope it was a fun visit. What an awesome day. Love you!

  • Mom April 24, 2015 at 12:08 am

    What a terrific day! Exploring, praying, performing, touring, shopping…full of adventures and memories! You all look so happy. Can’t wait to talk to you tomorrow Ally!! Miss you and love you!

  • Carmi Kostolitz April 23, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    shalom everyone!
    Thanks for sharing your Yom Atzmaut adventures and special moments at the Kotel! It sounds like it has been a very meaningful and memorable day. You all look great and so happy to be sharing this amazing trip with each other!
    When do you have time to sleep??
    Maya- you looked so excited to see Gilly, Geri, Merav, Shomron & Carmeli . I hope you gave Carmeli a big hug & kiss from us!!!
    Have a very spiritual, restful and peaceful Shabbat in Yerushalaim.
    Shabbat shalom!!

    Love you so much Maya,
    xoxo Mom

  • Ray Bershtein April 23, 2015 at 10:48 pm


    Mom is making falafel for dinner tonight in honor of you, your classmates, your teachers and Yom Ha’ Atzmaut. Trip looks like it keeps getting better every day. Have fun! Love, Dad.

  • Staci B.K.A. Coach A.K.A JZ's Mom April 23, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    My heart is full!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! My Poppu, is surely looking down and beaming with pride…
    I hope you gave my love to Abby, Nir and Amit, and of course Assaf when you see him.
    The pictures are all amazing!!! Clearly, you are all having the time of your lives.
    Take it all in… remember, I am living vicariously through you!!!
    Please take care of yourself and each other and know I love you with all my heart!!!
    Btw- I can’t wait to talk to you tomorrow.

  • Jenna's ima April 23, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    OMGosh, Jenna come home and pay attention to the cat. For 3 days she was mopey. Now she’s downright annoying. If it’s ok (and even if it’s not) with you I’m locking her in your room.

    Even yummies aren’t helping. Ack!!!

    — one cat-hair covered ima.

  • Katya April 23, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Hahaha Elijah you show off. I love you munchkin.

  • laura and len April 23, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    We love seeing all the smiling faces.Shabbat Shalom

  • Lisa Safian April 23, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    Each day looks better than the next!! Can’t wait to hear all about it tomorrow.

    Love you, mommy Safian

    Ps-don’t forget to give away the tzedukah money

  • Safians April 23, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Rangers are up 3 games to 1. I’m sure we all know who is interested in that!

    Where do I get a video of the singing for shekels?

    Miss you Alana. Can’t wait to talk tomorrow.

  • Heather & David Korman April 23, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    What a day. I know I keep on saying that. The Kotel must have been a moving experience.

    I want to know if I need to try to book all of you on America Got Talent. I bet the singing was great.

    Can’t wait to talk to you tomorrow.


    Heather & David Korman
    Mom & Dad

  • Jenna's ima aka MomDad April 23, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    I’m impressed, Betty! I’m usually the first comment…. <3

  • Jenna's ima aka MomDad April 23, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Wow guys, Every day just keeps getting better and better. And you all look happier and happier. I’d bet my last penny you don’t want to come home.

    How amazing. Ben Yehuda Street AND the Kotel in one blog post??!? I think I might be getting a little ver-klempt (you too, Staci?).

    Jenna, I am wondering what you ate for dinner – I’m guessing schwarma – a girl can only eat so much falafel! And I’m sure there was plenty of chocolate to be found… not just the hot kind. I hope you were singing loud and proud – Mr. S. would like that. I’m sure time with Nir & Amit was wonderful…. I hope you get to see Lisa when you get to the North again!

    But the Kotel. Wow. I remember standing there. It’s etched in my brain. The hot sun & the cold stone. You all look so happy. And JZ, that picture. BAM! I teared up.

    Lots of the moms (and Mabel) are going to go out tonight and probably have a cry-fest over how much we miss you…. well, really we will be consoling Staci – and having a few glasses of wine in your honor. WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU.

    I can’t wait to hear that voice tomorrow morning. I’m not leaving the house until I hear from you so Grammie and HowHow can talk to you too. Maybe Moo will even trill for an Israeli kitty-treat!

    Spoke to Dennis today and he sends hugs and can’t wait to skype with you. (He sent me PEZ shopping – $200 later)
    Words can’t describe how much I love you…. but I’m sure I’ll find some tomorrow.

    Loving you now and always
    (Jenna’s) ima

  • cheryl, zach's mom April 23, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    What a fun celebration! Hope you all had fun spending your shekels. Nice moments by the wall. Hope Zach didn’t get lost. I am sure I didn’t see him cause he’s so busy taking his own video & pictures……:-) Can’t wait for our phone call tomorrow!

  • Morah Betty April 23, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    I am so glad that you got to experience Yom Ha’atzmaut in Jerusalem. It is something you’ll never forget. Everyone looks fantastic and I can tell your having wonderful time. Enjoy every minute and make extraordinary memories.

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