We landed at Ben Gurion Airport at 6:17 am on Tuesday morning and greeted our friends, Elinor and Tomer.
We then met our guides, Vadim and Shera, as well as our driver, Igor. We headed to Neot Kedumim, where we tested our our sheep herding skills and learned about Israeli history.
Then we drove to an archaeological dig, where we were guided by the archaeologist, Nimrod. There we dug to find 2200 year old artifacts such as pottery and coal. We explored an ancient cave that was used as a basement for keeping pigeons and other animals.
Driving back to the hotel, we said shehekheyanu on a vista looking out over Jerusalem.
On Wednesday, we woke up bright and early, ready to explore the Old City. But first, we listened to Reconstructionist Rabbi Steve Burnstein, who talked about the history of progressive groups in Israel and the conflicts that arise. After, we explored the walls of the Old City.
We then walked around the Jewish Quarter and ate delicious shawarma among other things. We toured more parts of the Old City and viewed the Dome of the Rock. Then we visited the Western Wall and discussed some of the inequalities surrounding it. Getting back on the air-conditioned bus after a hot day touring was a relief!
We’re all looking forward to learning more about Israel and exploring Jerusalem.