After about a million years of traveling, we finally arrived at Ben Gurion Airport right outside of Tel Aviv. The flight itself was pretty fun. Most of us slept a few hours at least, Steven had the only outlet that had charging capabilities, and we very much enjoyed dressing up Noah while he was asleep. For many, it was a bit of a culture shock to see many Jewish passengers on the plane go to the back of the plane at sunrise to daven, and so that was a little introduction to some Jewish culture we were not necessarily accustomed to before. At about 8:30pm Israel time, we were finally on our way to the north to the Kibbutz. We stopped for some delicious Israeli barbeque on the way. There were appetizers of pita bread with lots of things to stuff it, as well as shish kabob including chicken, beef, and cow liver which some of us were brave enough to try. Driving to the kibbutz it was hard to understand that we were halfway across the world. Everything was dark and we were on the highway so we didn't get to see much. After a yummy dinner we arrive at around 11:30 p.m,. got our room assignments and headed to our rooms. I was lucky enough to room with Saskia and Aviella, one of the six Israeli soldiers that completed our group. The three of us stayed up talking for a bit, took showers, and ended up going to bed at 2 a.m. we woke up on Friday at 7 a.m. and headed to breakfast. Breakfast with also very good with lots of yummy pastries and things that we don't normally eat for breakfast like red cabbage. We did an ice breaker event where we performed skits of the Israeli soldiers' lives and then we got on the bus to head to Tsfat. We took a short tour of the city, saw the alley way the Messiah was supposed to come up when he came from the mountain, and saw an old Ashkenazi synagogue. We proceeded to walk the streets of the nice City, and had some time to explore on our own and grab lunch. A few people and I ended up getting food from the oven. It was some of the best food as ever had! Up upon leaving Tsfat, we went to the abandoned Syrian outpost called Gadot. We learned more about the conquest from the 6 days war and stood on the land that Israel won in that war. Afterwards, we had it back home and rested until the Shabbat service at 4:30 p.m. The food ended up having for Shabbat was so tasty, of course, because it seems that all the food here is amazing. Now we are all going to meet up and talk about our days and bond some more. It has been in incredible experience in Israel so far and I can't wait to see what is the come.
- Tallulah Tepper
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.