This morning we woke up at our host families’ houses bright and early. Then they dropped us off at a local high school where we participated in a Yom Hazikaron ceremony. During the ceremony, a siren went off indicating a moment of silence, in which the entire country goes quiet and pays respect.
Yom Hazikaron is Israel’s Memorial Day. It was interesting to see the differences between Memorial Day in the US and here. Since it’s such a small country and everyone goes into the army, most people know someone or have a family member who was injured or killed during service, making this day extremely sad for the whole population.
Next, we went to the beach in Netanya. Although we couldn’t swim in the water due to jellyfish, we played frisbee and ran around on the beach. We even got to enjoy some authentic Israeli cuisine. It was from a place called Pizza Hut.
After the beach, we had about an hour drive to a kibbutz outside Tel Aviv where we checked in and ate dinner. Subsequently, we headed to the city for the Independence Day celebration. There were Israeli flags everywhere and the streets were crowded with people wearing blue and white. We split into groups and got to walk around, eat some food, and watch fireworks. It was a blast and a half. Now we’re all exhausted and can’t wait to crash back at the kibbutz.
– Sam Miles and Noah Levy