Hi parents! My name is Andrew and I'm a second year writing to you about what we've been up to in Israel. On our first day, after a ten hour plane ride and scrumptious airline food, we walked around Tel Aviv, and we did team building activities to strengthen our Kehillah, which means community. We then continued on to independence hall, in which we learned about the history of Israel. Shortly after, we stopped in the 4000 year old city of Jaffa and had the chance to overlook the Jaffa Port. The day finished with a new years eve party for every birthright trip currently in Israel.
On day two, we explored the Old City of Jerusalem. We saw the room where Jesus had his Last Supper, learned about the long (very long) history of the city, and prayed at the Kotel, also known as the Western Wall. We enjoyed our time at the Western Wall so much that we couldn't bear to leave even while being pelted with hail! That day we also went to an Israeli mall to learn more about the culture and eat shawarma! On the eve of our second night we began our shabbat celebration with prayers and dinner at the hotel with our friends from the other buses. Yesterday, we continued our shabbat celebration by sleeping all day! We then went to another mall (apparently Israelis love malls) to enjoy dinner and eat more shawarma!!
We are having so much fun (which is why I haven't called, mom) and are learning so much.
Andrew Seigel, Avi Montanez, and Spencer Rubin and the rest of 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.