Israel: Day 6

Today we woke up in the north of Israel. After a bit of a later start (we woke up our students at 7:30 which was sleeping in for this trip) we headed off to the Golan Heights. We started the day up on Har Bental which is one of the highest points of Israel and has an amazing view of Syria. We spoke about the history of that border, the relationship between Israel and Syria, and about the civil war happening below. It was surreal to be up there knowing what was going on only about 50 miles away from us. Though we felt very safe it reminded up about how complicated things actually are in this region.

After this, we took a bit of a sweet break from politics and visited a chocolate factory. Our students got a chance to make their own chocolates, mixing white, milk, and dark and forming them into truffles and bars. They had them for dessert tonight!

We then went to Rosh Pina for lunch where students got some falafel, shenitzel, and pizza.

Soon we were headed to Safed. Sefad is place where much of Jewish mysticism was born. We learned the history of the movement and spent some time visiting a special kabalaistic synagogue. Finally, we spent time at a studio of an artists who uses mysticism and math together to make his art. Students were enthralled by him and many bought prints of his art to bring home! Then we gave students a chance to shop some more, many of whom chose to purchase things in the famous Safed, candle shop.

After dinner at the Kibbutz, we debriefed much of our trip so far. This was powerful for us as staff. Students had questions and insights and we spent a lot of time talking about religion in Israel, the place of Reform Judaism, and the Arab, Israeli conflict.

Now students are settling in the for the night. Jerusalem tomorrow!

Here are some pictures from today: