Dear Harlam 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 a top of a volcano and crossed the Dan River. We toured Tel Aviv and Mount Herzl and enjoyed going to the movies. Perhaps more meaningful than all these amazing places was the opportunity to meet new friends. This week we had a group of Israeli teens from the Israeli Reform Movement join us for a week. The American participants had the opportunity to spend time learning alongside them and building relationships. Some highlights included meeting people from the Druze community on Mount Carmel, and with Yasmin, a Palestinian woman who hosted us for lunch at the Village of Ein Rafa.
After a week full of adventures, we are looking forward to celebrating our last Shabbat together. This evening we will join our new Israeli friends for Kabbalat Shabbat in Modiin and get ready for the last couple of days together in Israel.
This week’s Torah portion is one of the most descriptive pieces of the beauty of Israel in the entire Torah: “For your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with streams and springs and fountains issuing from plain and hill; a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey.” In the last 5 weeks we experienced much of the beauty, the flavors, and the complexity of the land of Israel. These next few days we will invest in processing the journey and thinking of our personal growth that comes from it.
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 an adult.
The Yallah! Israel Team