Reflections from Jonah Goldwasser and Zoe Price…
Jonah: Today was Yom HaZikaron, Israeli Memorial Day, until sundown. It was absolutely amazing to witness and see the contrast between the American Memorial Day and the Israeli. When the bomb sirens sound off for a moment of silence, the whole country goes silent. It’s absolutely amazing to see. The amount of respect for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorist attacks is amazing. In Israel, everyone knows someone who has fallen. I was given the chance to be part of the ceremony for Yom HaZikaron in Netanya. To be able to be part of such an important ceremony and respresent Cincinnati was an unfathomable honor. Walking down in front of a thousand people to lay down a wreath of flowers and pay your respects for a country you don’t evem live in is a huge honor. Last night we also got to spend the night with our host families in our sister city Netanya. It was fun to see the city on our own and explore with someone who knows the place and loves it as well. Today we woke up with our host families, had breakfast, and headed to the school to start our day. We did another Yom HaZikaron ceremony at the school and started doing short activities such as asking questions and charades with the Chaverim who will come to Cincinnati next year and our host familes. Soon after doing these activities it was time to say goodbye to our families and go to the beach. The beach was very hot and the water was very cold so it was a nice balance. We stayed there for about two hours and then we moved on to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, we went out on the town as it became Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, and the entire country went from being sad to celebrating the biggest party of the year. Memorial Day and Independence Day are celebrated back to back here to rememeber the fallen soldiers and to keep the two connected and know that without one we wouldn’t have the other. The streets were jammed packed. It was amazing to see how a whole country could go from sorrow and depression to the biggest party of the year.
-Jonah Goldwasser, Loveland HS
Zoe: Last night we arrived in Netanya and met our host families, I was nervous but excited. With last night and today being Israeli Memorial Day I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, how people were going to act, and if this holiday would be hard on my host family. After meeting the we had dinner and went to a ceremony. At the beginning of the ceremony there was a siren and everyone was silent. That was a special and memorable moment. Then for the next hour was people speaking and Liz (my host) had to translate things so I could understand better. Today was very similar, we went to a ceremony and had a moment of silence at the beginning, then Liz would translate things to me. We did some mixers to get to know each other better and then we had lunch. We had PIZZA!! Pizza Hut in Israel is so different and so much better than in the states. We all talked and hung out before we said goodbye. I didn’t want to leave them, one night with these new friends was not long enough. We made our way to a beach in Netanya. Some people laid in the sun, while others swam. It was beautiful out. We’re now heading back to Jerusalem to shower and get ready for a long , fun, last night in Israel. We’re gonna be at a festival for Israeli Independence Day! I can’t wait to see more of what the ‘non-tourist’ life is like. It should be fun and exciting before we march again tomorrow! I miss my family and friends, but I’m not quite ready to come home yet. -Zoe Price, Loveland 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. https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0SJqstnBJ10BQS