1. Heading South

    Today we started at the Ben Gurion Institute to learn more about the Negev and its culture, we did an escape room, and then had a discussion about Israeli vs American Jews.

  2. A Great First Week

    We made it to our first Shabbat in Israel!

  3. A Day of Different Viewpoints

    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.

  4. The Old City

    The day started with a nice breakfast and a tour of Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter. For lunch, we walked around and chose from a few stores. Then we traveled through Hezekiah’s tunnel which, while fun, was a bit small for some of our taller participants.

  5. Arriving in Israel

    After a very rainy morning in the Poconos, we all made it to JFK Airport and onto the plane. The flight was wholly uneventful, but when we arrived in Tel Aviv we got to meet our Israeli staff and visit Neot Kedumim, a biblical nature preserve featuring over 100 species of plants that were all mentioned in the bible. Joanna, our guide at the preserve, showed us how to open almonds and introduced us to two other edible plants in the area.

  6. 2018

    Last Day in Jerusalem

    Today was our final day in Israel. We ended up hearing different perspectives before we left. First we heard a presentation by Women of the Wall, who advocate for women to have the same rights as men at the Western Wall.

  7. 2018

    A Powerful Day

    Today we had one the heavier days of our trip. It started off normal enough with us getting up and making a stop at the Knesset building to learn about the legislative process in Israel, and take a look at some of the artwork of the building. We were also able to sit in the area usually reserved for guests of honor in the Knesset chamber (it was not in session) and we then went to a committee room to learn exactly how a bill becomes a law in Israel.

  8. 2018

    Israel Museum

    Today we started off our day going to a natural water spring, called the Sachne, as our last activity in the north. We got to get some time to relax and jump in the refreshing water on what was shaping up to be an extremely hot day. After three hours we all got back on the bus and headed to Jerusalem where we had a quick visit of the Israel Museum. There we saw a replica of Jerusalem during the times of the Second Temple and some of the Dead Sea scrolls. To finish off the day we had a fun shopping night at the Mamilla Mall.

  9. 2018

    Making Chocolate and Rafting the Jordan River

    Today we started our day by going to a chocolate factory, De Karina. There we saw the process of how they made the chocolate by hand. Then we got to make chocolate bars for ourselves that were delicious.

  10. 2018

    Meditation and Ice Cream

    On Saturday, we all had a great and relaxing Shabbat, which ended in a very fun and rhythmic drum circle. We started Sunday off by walking around the city of Tzfat, and learning about how Jewish mysticism developed there. We got to experience the vibe of the city ourselves by doing some meditative exercises.

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!