Dear Yallah! Israel Families,
This week we visited some awe-inspiring places. We went rafting in the Jordan River and enjoyed water sports in the Sea of Galilee. We looked out to Syria from the top of a volcano and crossed the Dan River. Perhaps more meaningful than all these amazing places was the opportunity to meet new friends. This week we had a group of Israeli teens join for a week. The American participants had the opportunity to spend time learning alongside them and building relationships. Some highlights included meeting Druze people on Mount Carmel and with Yasmin, a Palestinian woman who hosted us for lunch in the Ein Rafa Village.
After a jam-packed week, we are looking forward to celebrating our last Shabbat together. In this week’s Torah Reading, Moses describes begging to enter the Promised Land, a place many Jews will yearn toward in future generations. Throughout our journey in Israel, we have learned that yearning for a better place is a process that is ongoing after crossing the Jordan River into the mainland. Perhaps this continuous effort is a stronger component of Jewish identity than the destination itself.
As our time comes to a close and we are getting ready to say goodbye, we hope that the participants can take all that they have learned and experienced and treasure those memories. All of this is a part of the process of developing a deep connection with Israel.
Soon enough you will hear your teens’ stories about their adventures, what this country means to them, and how they want to stay connected in the future.
We hope they feel they have a home away from home and have found inspiration to take them into the next chapters of becoming a young adult.
The Yallah! Israel team