Category: Micah in Israel – 2017

Micah In Israel: Back in Jerusalem!

Posted by on July 24, 2017

Hello Camp Micah!

We’ve had an eventful few days since our last update. The campers concluded their army day experience early on Thursday morning. We met them as they were finishing up the famous “stretcher march”, a long hike where they have to switch off carrying a heavy stretcher designed to feel like a wounded soldier. The commanders were thrilled with the level of discipline, support, and teamwork showed by both groups. We felt like proud parents watching our campers “graduate” army day during the closing ceremony. The rest of the day was filled with much needed rest (and pool time!)

On Friday we visited one of the most scenic areas of the trip, the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa. We learned about the rich religious history of the site and enjoyed the views. We then had a special lunch visit from a local member of the Druze community. He shared with us the history of his religion and gave us insight on how it is relevant today. After our visit in Haifa, we said a temporary goodbye to eight members of our group as they set off to spend the weekend with family and friends. As for the rest of the group, they also got to spend time with local Israelis. In small groups they had the chance to have meals at the family homes of people living in the area of Zichron. Everyone got to enjoy a home cooked meal, and the opportunity to experience family life in Israel.

The eight members that left were welcomed with open arms on Sunday morning! We headed North to the beach where we would stay for the night. The Mediterranean was just as wonderful as we left it a few short weeks before. The beach campground was a perfect spot to have our very own “campfire” complete with skits and songs by the group. The group arose early this morning ready to explore the nearby historic caves of Rosh Hanikra. After a majestic tour through the caves, we headed south. Our first stop was at Leket, a volunteer organization designed to provide food for those who can’t afford it. The group spent a good portion of the afternoon pealing cabbages. At the end of the day we learned that we provided food for approximately 2,000 families! From there we headed to our final destination, Jerusalem. It feels great to be back where it all began, and we’re excited for what the next week has in store.

 

Army day has come and gone

The stretcher march began at dawn

We rested and swam, then headed to the port

The visit to Haifa was fun, yet short

We met some people, they were called Druze

Then came Shabbat, for all of us Jews

Some people left and some people stayed

But everyone had good memories made

We went to the beach and slept under the stars

The caves had a lot of water, unlike Mars

We peeled so many cabbages, it was insane!

We’re back in Jerusalem, but soon to be Maine

 

Love,

Sarah and Mike

Micah in Israel: Time for Army Day!

Posted by on July 19, 2017

Hello Camp Micah!

We are out of the desert and off to Army day! It has been an exciting week filled with fun and challenging times for the group. The Negev Adventure began with a sunset hike to our campsite. After settling in we enjoyed dinner and sat around the fire playing games and singing songs. The next day we rose early and began hiking. The hike was tough for some, and showed how incredibly supportive our Micah campers are to each other. It was an amazing sight to see. After swimming in a serene desert spring, we spent some much needed time inside (and got there by Safari truck!) As the kids have said “The Negev wasn’t bad, it was just complicated!” The group was definitely happy to be back living the hotel life in Kibbutz Ketura. We got to learn about the history of the Kibbutz movement, celebrate shabbat with the members, and even have an evening pool party! We spent a day in Eilat, where it reached an incredible 111 degrees! In one of the best days yet, we went snorkeling in the Red Sea, spent time at a rock climbing gym/ adventure park, and went to a shopping mall with an ice skating rink! We departed Ketura and headed north to another Kibbutz, Maayan Harod. We spent the morning at the ancient port city of Caesarea learning about archaeology and the diverse history of the region. The group then started to prepare for the much anticipated army day! As we write to you they are being led by commanders on a challenging, exciting journey designed to put them in the shoes of an IDF soldier. We miss them already and can’t wait to hear about it!

 

We made it out of the desert, which was sandy and dry

We’re starting to realize time is flying by

Hiking, swimming, and a safari ride too

The scenery was great and the sky was bright blue

After the desert, we headed to the Kibbutz

The kids took much needed showers, to remove all the schmutz

We sang, we danced, and enjoyed our Shabbat

The next day we snorkeled, climbed and had fun in Eilat

We had a long drive heading up to the North

We hiked in an oasis, and kept marching forth

We explored Caesarea, the rich Roman bay

Now that they’ve rested, it’s time for Army day

Love,

Sarah and Mike


Micah In Israel: Headed to the Negev!

Posted by on July 12, 2017

7/12

 

We are headed to the Negev for 3 days! Here’s a short poem to summarize the week:

 

We started the day by meeting with soldiers

Went on a beautiful hike, surrounded by boulders

As we walked through a winding river

The water was chilly, it made us shiver!

Through the mountains was a scenic bike ride

Wearing the Save a Child’s Heart logo with pride

The next day was an early rise

But the views on the cliff hike were such a prize

Next we swam in the sea of Galilee

Followed by a visit to a local chocolate factory

The Golan Heights had beautiful landscapes

We stomped with our feet on many grapes

We made juice, and pita too

Then had a nighttime boat ride, on water so blue

We visited two borders and planted a tree

The Negev is coming.. So much to see!!

 

Love,

 

Sarah and Mike

Micah In Israel: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Tzfat!

Posted by on July 8, 2017

7/8/17

Our first full week in Israel was packed with emotion, education, and fun. On Sunday we explored the old city of David and walked through water tunnels used thousands of years ago to secure water for the city of Jerusalem. After a long, hot day, we visited the Kotel for the second time. This visit, the group got a chance to write notes and spend more time at the wall. It was a very moving experience for some, while everyone enjoyed the experience of being so close to Jewish history. After a wonderful stay in Jerusalem, we departed for Tel Aviv.

The week was filled with great local food at “shuk’s”, also known as local markets and chances to walk around for shopping. One of the most memorable experiences thus far was our trip to Dialogue in the Dark. This is an activity that takes place in complete darkness, lead by a vision impaired guide. It sends a powerful message about difficulties of living with disabilities. Continuing our exposure to difficult circumstances, we had two volunteering opportunities the next day.

First, we visited Save a Child’s Heart, where the group got a chance to play with young children suffering from heart problems. These children came to Israel to receive life saving surgery and are very far away from home. Getting a chance to visited for the sole purpose of playing and having fun is an important experience for them. In between our volunteering experiences we took a trip to the beach of the  Mediterranean Sea. After some fun in the sun, we headed to a kindergarten for children of refugees. Much like the children earlier in the day, these kids don’t get a lot of play time, so the visit with our kids brightened their day.

On Thursday night we traveled back to Jerusalem for the opening ceremonies of the Maccabiah games. It was a special evening for Jewish people everywhere, celebrating the 20th games. The group mentioned how special it was to be surrounded by thousands of people from 80 different countries, all a part of the Jewish community. We were entertained by fireworks and singing, and were even surprised by a spontaneous proposal and wedding ceremony on stage.

The next morning we headed to Tzfat for Shabbat. The group experienced a very different Shabbat then what they’d ever seen  before. There was a lot to reflect on. We’re excited for Havdallah tonight, and heading north tomorrow!

 

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any hotter

We got to explore tunnels, filled with water

We were excited to arrive in Tel Aviv

We had many experiences that we didn’t want to leave

Then the kids had quite a shock!

A visit from their former counselor, his name is Barak

Volunteering with kids made for a very fun day

Puzzles to playgrounds, we all got to play

We swam at the beach, and even saw a wedding

The Jews will win the Maccabiah games? That’s what we’re betting

We’ve begun our trip to the north and it’s all fine

Even in Israel, the sun and kids shine

 

Love,

Sarah and Mike

Micah In Israel: First days in Israel!

Posted by on July 2, 2017

7/1/17

Shabbat Shalom Camp Micah! We just arrived in Israel after spending four days in Poland. There, we visited many historical sites which opened our eyes to our culture’s history. We first visited Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter of Krakow, and explored life before WWII.

After learning about Jewish life in Krakow, we visited Birkenau, Auschwitz, and the remains of the Warsaw ghetto. Through all of the difficult and emotional times, we managed to stay positive. As we waved goodbye to Poland, we reached our flight to Israel with less than 5 minutes to spare, and are now enjoying the beautiful city of Jerusalem.

We enjoyed a gorgeous picnic with our group leaders, Yael and Dohr, sang songs, and enjoyed an amazing view of the city. We then got ready for our first Shabbat together. The counselors led the group on a short blindfolded walk through the old city to a balcony. When the blindfolds were removed, the group was overlooking the western wall, many for the first time. It was a special moment of appreciation and excitement. We then got the chance to walk down to the wall for the first time. With Shabbat rapidly approaching, we headed back to the hotel for a candle lighting. We then had a lovely Micah style shabbat service, led by Lexi Tuch and Jonah Berg. After a feast of a shabbat dinner, the group had some down time and a good night’s sleep (late wake up!) We’ve spent a relaxing shabbat filled with group activities and pool time. We’re excited to head back into Jerusalem tonight for some time at the Mall. Stay Tuned! Also, please check out the Micah Facebook page for pictures of the first week!

And now, a poem:

The airport didn’t go exactly as planned

Regardless, we touched down in the holy land

The old city we got to explore

In Poland it did pour

The weather is much different in the middle east

It’s very hot, to say the least

We sang and prayed on Shabbat

Soon, we’ll write to you from Tzfat!

 

Love,

Sarah and Mike