Another jam-packed week in Karmiel has flown by. While things may be routine and regular in our ‘real-life’; cooking, cleaning and volunteering, we continue to learn and grow; strengthening our relationships and deepening our understanding of what it means to live as a community and partake in Israeli society.

A highlight of the week was Thursday’s tiyul. We followed the path of the Palmach, visiting Nabi Yusha and Tel Hai. The group were disappointed by the constricted narrative in these museums. The violence of the battles at these sites was overlooked or even glorified by focusing on the camaraderie of the men involved. Whilst we did not have the intended response to these museums, we were able to reflect on a deeper level about the way in which Israel views its history. We then enjoyed a cycle tour in the beautiful Hula Valley which was a lot of fun. On Friday shnat ma’ayan had their big break; we became film-stars! We were driven up to Jerusalem to be extras in a feminist superhero film thanks to a friend of Ady. This was a great day filled with dancing and free food, as well as a chance to have a taster of Jerusalem night-life (albeit at 9 am). The weekend continued with a gorgeous light-themed Shacharit run by Alice and Barney reflecting the message of recent religious festivals.

Our working week commenced on Sunday with volunteering. I work in two schools, teaching English to 15-17 year olds who have not responded well to mainstream education. I am continuously inspired by the brilliance of the kids that I teach and the teachers that support them. We all came back together on Tuesday for our Hebrew lessons and a seminar on Zionism. This seminar was our first real chance to discuss and examine the challenges of Zionist theory, leaving us all even more conflicted than when we started. That afternoon we were lucky enough to be visited by our three favourite people – Danit, Lior and Ady! The peula on ‘spirals of silence’ run by Danit and Ady was invaluable to our group dynamic, encouraging us all to be more honest with each other and take criticism. Living as a group is super difficult, and this peula gave us a great framework for cooperation.

Sending lots of love to Ella and her family,

Sophie J xxxxxxxx