Today was the second day of actual activities, and it was definitely the day I was looking forward to the most! After leaving our hotel in Ashkelon which I personally woke up for at the time we were supposed to leave... my apologies everyone we took the bus to our first stop: a garden for us to eat various plants, taste delicious vegetables, and learn about agricultural innovation in the Negev. It was incredible to see plants growing out of mere desert soil, and the experience really did not disappoint.
Our second stop was lunch at a cafe in the desert, followed by a visit to Ben Gurion's gravesite and national park. We watched beautiful, horned animals (apparently called the Ibex?) and learned a brief history of the first Prime Minister's life and his impact on the formation of the state of Israel. We then headed to the Bedouin tents where we would soon be sleeping, and rode camels! (THEY WERE SO GREAT) Then we ate a delicious dinner and learned about the Bedouins, while playing games and hanging out in the spare time between programming.
The last event of the night was pretty special. We walked away from our tent and into the desert. Underneath the stars, we had a discussion about spirituality and our own beliefs, allowing us to voice our own opinions and learn each others'. The peace and quiet of the desert was awe-
inspiring, and a fantastic way to end an incredibly exciting day :)
Sammi Rappaport '18
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.