The theme of the day (Sunday, 1316) was Israeli culture and society. We met the eight Israeli soldiers who will be joining us on our journey for the next five days. The group visited the Yitzhak Rabin square and learned about the significance of Israel's first prime minister, who fought for peace until his assassination in the square on November 4th, 1995. We followed the visit to the square with one to the home of the Save a Child's Heart organization in Holon. We heard about their initiative, which has saved the lives of thousands of children from 50 different countries suffering from congenital and rheumatic heart conditions.
We were then able to play with children who were either preparing for surgery or recovering from it. I played with a 12-year-old Ethiopian child named Eliyas. Eliyas is recovering strongly from his procedure and is preparing to go home in a few weeks. We talked about football (soccer) and he taught me some Amharic, his native language. We exchanged contact info and I really hope to keep in touch with him. I enjoyed learning about the history of Israel at the Yitzhak Rabin square and experiencing the charitable culture first hand thanks to Save a Child's Heart.
Mason Smith, Bus 1297
The Brody Jewish Center, Hillel at the University of Virginia, is the focal point in a renaissance of Jewish life for the 1,000 Jewish students on Grounds.