This morning we came together to have a panel discussion with four Israeli citizens representing different denominations of Judaism. They shared their experiences and thoughts on education, politics, religions, and Israel as a whole.

After the panel, we journeyed into the Old City to visit the Muslim and Christian quarters. In the Christian quarter, we visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus was embalmed and buried. We walked through the open marketplace in the Muslim quarter and practiced our bargaining skills.

– Yael

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After touring the Muslim quarter, our group split up for lunch. My group worked out a deal for a family style meal. We had falafel and pita w/lots of yummy dips. So good!!

Next, we met up, changed into modest outfits at the tomb of David, and got on the bus headed to Bethlehem. Our tour guide Samir showed us the Church of the Nativity, followed by a short walk to a shepherding field and a discussion on his experiences with Israeli infringement on life in the West Bank.

Next, we went to the settlement of Tekoa. Shaul, a Jewish settler, led us to a beautiful spot in his neighborhood overlooking the canyons separating Israel and Jordan. There he told us his story and what he thinks of the conflict.

Signing off form BonTour bus 688!

– Sasha

Camp JRF is now Camp Havaya.

Worry not! We have a new name but, deep down, we’re still the same incredibly diverse and welcoming community where kids explore Judaism in their own ways and become the best versions of themselves.

Learn more about why we chose this name or click through to visit our website. Either way, we can’t wait to welcome you to Camp Havaya this summer!