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Day 9: Tzfat, Haifa and Netanya!

This morning we woke up on Kibbutz Deganya after having a fun previous night on the disco boat down the Sea of Galilee. We went to breakfast, then got on the bus and were on our way to Tzfat, the city known for their handmade art and jewelry.

We got to Tzfat around 10:00 and went straight to a synagogue. We were all instructed by Liz, our tour guide, to take a picture of one thing that inspired us while walking around Tzfat. After the synogonue, we were all ready for free time after passing all of the beautiful shops and already eyeing things we wanted to buy.

Around 10:30 we were let off for free time until noon. Most of us went straight to shopping. The jewelry and art for family and friends is a well-known gift to come home with. Tzfat has everything from necklaces to bracelets to glass art to candles to prints of paintings to watercolors and the list just keeps growing. After popping in and out of almost every store on the main street about 6 of us ate lunch at a tiny falafel shop and got an iced coffee. Then, we walked back to the bus to start heading to our next adventure.

We got off the bus at the Baha’i Gardens. The flowers and trees at the gardens are perfectly symmetrical looking over the city. We all had plenty of photo ops then continued on our way to Netanya eagerly awaiting to meet our host families for the night.

We arrived in Netanya and began activities with our families around 4:00. Myself and Molly Ferguson found our host, Lucy, a bit early and instantly started talking about what we’ve done on the trip so far, our daily lives, school, work, friends, etc. Molly and I instantly felt like we have been friends with Lucy for a long time. I was personally surprised how independent high schoolers lives are in Netanya. Once we split up from the group we got to Lucy’s house and instantly felt at home. We set our bags down and she took us to her favorite local falafel shop for a snack. We then walked along the beach to watch the sunset. It 5 minutes away from where she lived!!

Around 5:30 we went back to her house to get ready for the tekes (ceremony) for Yom HaZikaron. After then we met up with Brad Gallop, Noah Levy, and their host, Don. The ceremony was in Hebrew but Lucy translated a lot of it for us. Different people recited poems, sang, and led prayers. Most of the people had close relatives and or friends who passed away while serving the country. After the ceremony, we met a few of their friends and hung out for around a half hour before heading back to get ready for bed. Lucy is actually performing in the ceremony that we are all meeting back up at tomorrow (Wednesday) so we had to get up early. We ate a nice chicken and potato dinner with her family and got a feel what home life is like here. She told us on a normal night we could’ve gone to friends houses or gotten ice cream but all the shops have to close for the holiday or they can be fined!

-Sammi Miller

Cross training. Young woman exercising with dumbbells.

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