May 2014 I am home now after my two and a half week trip to Israel. I am, admittedly, happy to be home and to see my family. But I can't say that I won't miss Israel, with my hotel on the beach and the amazing weather every day. The thing I'll miss the most, though, isn't the scenery, but the people. The group of students on our trip got very close during these two weeks. We became great friends, and some us might have never met each other on campus. We know each other now be
May 2014 Last Saturday some of my group members and I booked a tour through our hotel to Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, and Tiberias/the Jordan River. We left the hotel bright and early at 7am to head to Nazareth. Once there we first visited the Church of the Annunciation. The church itself was beautiful. All around the outside and the inside of the church there are ceramic pictures of what each country sees the Virgin Mary as. It’s extremely interesting to see all of the diff
Last night we had dinner in the Nalag’at Center for the Blind and Deaf in Tel Aviv. We went with a group of students from the IDC who are coming to Syracuse in the fall for a similar program that we are here doing now. The special thing about this dinner is that we ate in complete darkness. We were taken into the Black Out Restaurant by blind and visually impaired servers and seated at our tables. We went into the restaurant in a conga line style since we couldn’t see where w
May 2014 On Thursday we took a trip to Masada and the Dead Sea. Masada and the Dead Sea are located in the Southern part of Israel. But before I talk about them, I want to start with our bus ride down there. To get to Masada we drove right next to, and even through at some points, the West Bank. I want to share some of the photos I took from the bus on the way down. These are apartment buildings that were being financed by the Saudi government for Arab-Israelis and Palestinia
May 2014 During our time in Israel, my group and I have managed to pick up some of the basic Hebrew words that we use on a regular basis, with the help of our friends at the IDC and an extremely helpful server at breakfast, Taya. We don't need the Hebrew here, since almost everybody speaks English, but it is still something we wanted to learn a little of. We got a photo with Taya, our server at breakfast every morning, who was so kind and helpful. So here are some of the word
May 2014 Yesterday was Lag BaOmer here in Israel. Lag BaOmer is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer, which occurs on the 18th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar. In Israel, they celebrate the holiday by having bonfires all over the country. We were invited by our friends at the IDC (yes, we have made some amazing friends here in less than a week - things that don't happen at home) to the bonfire they were having next to the campus last night.
May 2014 On Thursday we spent the day touring Jerusalem. We had an amazing tour guide – she knew so much! As you can imagine, we packed a lot into our day, so this post might be a little longer. I will try to make it mostly pictures. We started our day in Yad Vashem at the holocaust museum. The museum is designed in a triangular, tunnel like form. It has “fault lines” throughout that lead you to go through every exhibit as you make your way towards the light at the end of the
May 2014 Wednesday was our first day of “classes” here in Israel. I say “classes” because they’re not really classes, more like one-time lectures. We are studying in the Interdisciplinary Center, or IDC in Herzliya. The university reminds me of what I would imagine a college in Southern California is like. Almost everything is open (no roof!) other than a few of the academic buildings, since the weather always seems to be beautiful here. The campus is very relaxed and upbeat.
May 2014 Welcome to Tel-Aviv! Those words made me so happy when we finally got off the plane Monday. Getting here was a truly stressful and long experience. To start things off, I almost missed my flight… We drove down to JFK from where I live, and we were going to make it in perfect time. But then… New Jersey. A large truck carrying other cars had broken down just after the GW Bridge, and that, added to the usual NYC traffic, made things very, very slow. So slow that by the