Weekly report by Alice G.

Sitting on a rock in Tel Aviv looking out at the sea seems like a good time to think over the past week. We started off this week with a trip to Akko where we saw the old Ottoman ruins and then sat having lunch on the fortress. We then visited Akko’s new ‘Extreme Park’ where we walked on high ropes and climbed on the inside climbing wall. (I got to the top and was very proud of myself).

This week also saw the introduction of our very own Social Action meetings led by our va’ad (committee). This is something we have put together to make sure that we’re not just talking about what we can do in the world, but actually making it happen. This week was all about talking about what we are passionate about so that we can work together to bring about some change in those areas. It was an amazing discussion as we soon realised we had such a wide range of interests.

Then came Shabbat which seems to be a wonderful excuse to get some rest, catch up with people you haven’t seen much in the week and watch some good (and sometimes not so good) TV. We ran our own Kabbalat Shabbat this week which was very emotional for some of us. Sitting in a place that now felt like home, with people that were now our family and singing songs that mean so much to a lot of us was really powerful and created one of those moments you know you will hold onto for a long time.

On Sunday we were back to volunteering with a special event in the evening. We had planned a Channukah party for the reform community in Karmiel and invited our host families to join us. There were almost 70 people there and a really incredible atmosphere. We lit the candles together and then sang some songs for the community (because we seem to have formed some sort of gospel choir). There was also arts and crafts and then story telling at the event, and of course doughnuts and latkes. It was a wonderful way to close our first couple of weeks in Karmiel and say goodbye to each other as we all venture off to different parts of the country for our chofesh (holiday) week.

It’s very strange being apart from the group but also quite refreshing knowing that real life is still out there and I know that coming back together will be incredible. We will all have stories to tell of getting lost on our way to our destinations, having to find last minute accommodation or not realising that the hike you were going on was going to be with a very large group of children. Here are some pictures of the last week and I hope you can see from our smiles that we are all having a great time experiencing different parts of Israeli culture both together and apart.