To compensate for my vacation time, my schedule leading up to my April 14th departure date was a balagan inundated with MASA, family, friends, and bucket list activities. Highlights include a trip to the Sachne at Gan Hashlosha National Park, another escape room in TLV with my friends (this time, Illumanti themed), a bunch of beach days, and an Israel Experience seminar focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This tiyul included a trip to Gush Etzion and the city of Efrat, the holy city of Hebron where the Patriarchs of monotheism are said to be buried, and a trip to the “security fence” or “apartheid wall” depending on which side you ask.
On a lighter note, my co-teacher Emily and I came up with the idea to do an English lesson for the whole 8th and 9th grades on the story of Passover and the differences between the holiday in Israel and America. We featured highlights from the Prince of Egypt, a movie adaptation of Passover and the time in Egypt perfectly appropriate for the students. Some of the girls had seen the movie before, but the video clips and songs we chose were intended to reinforce the story they already know—but in English. It was also a shock to the girls to find out that outside of Israel, Jews celebrate two Passover Seders instead of one. This is because hundreds of years ago, people who were outside of Israel could not be sure at what exact time the holiday truly started. It also serves as a reminder that we are not in Israel for this holiday commemorating our journey and exodus from Egypt. After giving the same presentation five times that day, I am fairly confident in my ability to articulate the story of this pinnacle Jewish holiday.
On a completely unrelated note, I am excited to announce that my bud is my acceptance to the MASA Leadership delegation to Poland!!!! From May 13-19 I will be taking a tour of the Holocaust-scarred country (visiting 4 concentration camps and traveling to Krakow and Warsaw) and seeing the legacy of the Jewish community in society there today. So stay tuned for (probably, several) upcoming blog posts!!