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Israel… at last!!!!! (Day 8)

From Poland to Israel… dark to bright, cold to warm, heavy to light, sad to elated, (what felt like) holding our breath to exhaling… we have arrived in Israel! The contrast from there to here is astounding, and not lost on us. We truly couldn’t be any more grateful to shed the extra layers needed there (physically and emotionally), and be here. Even though we flew overnight, didn’t sleep on the plane, and arrived before 5am to just change clothes and go straight into our day… today was an amazing, energized, empowering day.

Reflections from Danny Niedermann and Daniel Moss…

Daniel M.: I have been to Israel around 10 times in my life. I have a lot of family here and I consider it my second home. When we got off of the bus today, I took one look at the Israeli sand and started sprinting towards the sea. It was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen after a heavy week in Poland. It felt like a breath of fresh air that was a must need. Going from such sad stories and experiences to the freedom of the Jewish State of Israel is indescribable. Throughout the day we went to the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa, The Grottos in Rosh Hanikra, and then we went on a Disco boat on the Kinneret. It’s safe to say that this has been one of the greatest days of my life and I am still smiling as I type this. I can’t wait to see the other side of this great country that I have not seen before.  -Daniel Moss, Walnut Hills HS

Danny N.: Yesterday, we woke up in a land that symbolizes the darkest time in our people’s history, a land that still struggles with remnants of the Holocaust 70 years later. Today we woke up in the homeland of the Jewish people. A land that has been a safe haven for Jews being persecuted and humiliated around the world. We started the day with the beautiful roman aqueducts of Caesaria. The ultra fine sandy beach and Mediterranean Sea serving as our inaugural step in our journey through the promised land. Following that we went to the port city of Haifa to see the beautiful Baha’i Gardens and learn about the Baha’i people. We then went to the Israeli-Lebanese border and the city of Rosh HaNikra. We saw the beautiful caves looking out onto the Mediterranean and then partied and danced on the Sea of Galilee.

In less than a day we went from the horrors of the Holocaust to the sights and wonders of the State of Israel. What a difference. Even though I’ve been to Israel before, today, on my birthday, I saw Israel in a completely new light. The last week has really shown me just how precious life is, and now I get to spend the rest of the week celebrating life in a truly magnificent land with truly amazing people. For that, I’m so grateful.  Am Yisrael Chai!  -Danny Niederman, Mason HS

During our journey, we’re sharing a few highlight photos per day in our daily blog, yet to see ALL of our photos (many per day), go to our shared album here.

IMG_4582Ceasaria aqueducts, Mediterranean

Rosh Hanikra
Rosh Hanikra
Disco Boat at Tiberias
Disco boat on the Kinneret

Disco Boat at TiberiasKibbutz Sha'ar Ha'golan

Cross training. Young woman exercising with dumbbells.

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