1. 2016

    Day 10 — Be’er Sheva

    Today was a relaxing break from the exhausting days prior, such as our hike up Masada and sleeping in the Bedouin tents after riding camels. After waking up around 7:30, we ate breakfast at the Kibbutz Gvulot dining hall. We then hopped on the bus with Issa (the best bus driver ever!) and drove to the desert city of Be’er Sheva where we got to go on a tour of the Chatzerim Air Force Base. The tour was amazing because we saw all different types of Israeli aircraft on display. Some were presented in photograph form but we got to see the actual models of the older planes in an outdoor display area. We even got to enter a real Israeli aircraft to watch a video describing the history of the Israeli Air Force. We even managed to get in a few pictures of us inside some of the old helicopters and planes before we left!

  2. 2016

    Day 9 — Exploring the Negev

    Today we said goodbye to Kibbutz Ketura and went first to Machtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater). We visited the visitors center, and learned all about Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut in space, and about the crater itself, including its ongoing formation over millions of years and the wildlife that inhabits the crater.

  3. 2016

    Day 8 — Fun in the Sand

    This morning we woke up to freshly-made pancakes from the kibbutz. Man, were they delicious!. After breakfast, we spent time with one of the original members of the kibbutz and learned about the different committees (i.e. environment) and the general assembly that make important policies and decisions on behalf of the entire kibbutz. We split into groups and dove into real issues that occurred either at this kibbutz or at a neighboring one. After deciding what we would do in our individual committees, we brought it to our own Asefa (general assembly) and discussed what we would do to solve each predicament. It was a great experience and enlightened us to the behind-the-scenes of such a unique and efficient community.

  4. 2016

    Day 7 — Masada

    What time did you wake up today? We woke up at 4 AM. After a short drive from our campsite to the base of Masada, we started our hike. Thirty minutes and many calories later, we were at the top of Masada. We toured the ancient ruins, sang and danced, and began our hike back down. Strangely enough, the hike down was much, much more difficult than the hike up. After a quick breakfast, we were off to the Dead Sea.

  5. 2016

    Day 6 — Into the Desert

    We departed from Jerusalem and headed towards the desert. After crossing into the West Bank, the group met with teen representatives from the Alon settlement. We discussed topics that ranged from basic facts about the settlement to the Palestinian and Israeli conflict. It was interesting to see the similarities that the two of our groups had with each other even though we were raised in very different environments. Likewise, the arguments raised against different ideas were interesting to hear about, and we achieved greater understanding during this meeting.

  6. 2016

    Days 4 & 5 — Shabbat

    We woke up groggily to a beautiful Jerusalem morning; and were greeted with another amazing Israeli breakfast. After we finished our meal, we boarded the No'ar Hadash bus and drove towards Marichia. After an enlightening playlist of Beyonce classics and many “Boker tovs” we arrived at an archaeological site and got off of our longest bus ride yet (45 minutes). Following a short bathroom break, Missy, our site leader, led us to the entrance of a 2,200 year old cave used by people in the time of the Maccabees. Upon descending down the deep cave, we began putting our digging skills to work and awakened our inner archaeologist in order to aid in the search for the omnipresent “trash” of the inhabitants of that ancient time. Our determination and enthusiasm paid off as we found many ancient and unique treasures which had been untouched for thousands of years. The yield of our digging led to over 200 buckets of dirt, and we made a chain of hands to hoist our finds out of the cave. Following the extraction of the buckets the campers sifted each bucket to make sure we did not miss anything. Coincidentally, we found the most impressive treasure by doing this, which included part of a necklace and a ancient candle. To finish off our archaeological experience we went spelunking in nearby cave, which helped many of us getting over our fear of small spaces.

  7. 2016

    Day 3 — Another Day in Jerusalem

    In the beginning of the day, we walked around on the ramparts surrounding the Armenian Quarter. It was a great sight to see around the city on the rolling hills, as well as seeing the cool gates from the different periods of Jerusalem’s different occupations. There was a bar mitzvah by the last tower we were on which was very cool.

  8. 2016

    Day 2 — Exploring Jerusalem

    We woke up today feeling far more refreshed and ready to spend the full day out and about, whereas we had been up for about 36 hours yesterday. Once we filled up on a delicious Israeli breakfast, we got on the bus and went for a walking tour around the Old City. We discussed the history of Jerusalem with a demonstration of stacked hats, much to the interest of the nearby tourists.

  9. 2016

    An awesome first day…

    Our first day of our Israel trip, we stumbled off our plane and into a coach bus headed straight towards Neot Kedumim, a biblical landscape full of ancient ruins and herds of sheep and goats.  We first were taken by a lively tour guide around the landscape to where farmers used to crush their grapes in preparation for wine.  The tour guide told us stories about the once abundant vineyards and legends about the grape crushing escapades of the Devil and Noah, all while standing on an original pit used to stomp grapes dating back thousands of years.  

  10. 2016

    Summer 2016 — Here we go…

    The No'ar Hadash Israel Experience just arrived at Ben Gurion Airport! Stay tuned for updates, photos, and more as 24 teens and five staff have countless adventures across Israel. We can't wait!

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!