Category: Micah in Israel – 2014

Wrapping up our 2014 Israel Adventure!

Posted by on July 23, 2014

It has definitely been a hectic last couple of days, filled with a lot of packing, long days of travel, and a whirlwind of emotions.  We started out the week on Sunday by visiting a goat farm, where we made our own cheese followed by a very tasty lunch.  We also had some daring individuals that stepped up to try some goat milk directly from an utter, and it was humorous to say the least.  Later that day we went on another hike, but this was not just any ordinary hike, for the majority of it was through water that came up past most of our shoulders, and included the occasional concrete drain that we were able to use as a slide.

The following day we traveled to The Valley of Kibbutzim, where we saw how all of the first Jewish settlers established their land while still under British Mandate, and also participated in a team building exercise that consisted of a variety of different games in the water!  We closed out the evening by going to a sound and light show at the old roman ruins in the city of Bet Shean, where the kids learned about the fate of our trip, and that the end of very near.  There was a variety of different emotions, and as a whole spirits were very low as the reality of everything was finally setting in, but it was nice to see the group really coming together as a family in one of our more difficult times.

Moving on through the week we went on a tour of a bee farm and got to play with a handful of different animals, followed by riding the most sought after animal of all, the camel! The pictures that were taken of the kids speak volumes about how much they truly enjoyed themselves.

This morning we woke up while it was still dark out to hike up Masada in order to see the beautiful sunrise over the Dead Sea and tour around a bit.  We then let everyone catch up on some sleep, where we then had our Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program.  Although it was very last minute, all of the kids really stepped up and shared beautiful thoughts and experiences not only about the trip, but also about life as a whole and what it means growing up being Jewish.  The evening came to a close with a short but very successful meeting with four IDF soldiers who are on reserve duty in the area during this time of need, and I think they were able to shed a lot of light on what life is like for Israelis.

Spirits are definitely back up, and we intend for them to stay that way until flights can finally be squared away.  Be on the lookout for pictures!!!

Michelle and the rest of MII ’14

Northern Exposure

Posted by on July 16, 2014

Micah in Israel 2014 has continued its trip up in northern Israel. Not only has the North been a place of a safety for the group, but it has also provided us with the most fun and exciting aspects of our trip so far! The thrill for this week kicked off during our festive Havdalah service which was filled with music and dancing and Drew Ginsburg impressing members of the Israeli Navy with his back flips.

Earlier this week, we participated in our own Alyn Hospital Charity Bike Ride, decked out in some fancy cycling shirts. The ride was a blast with beautiful views and chances to stop to eat fresh tomatoes as well as swim in the Jordan River. The event was a great success as the group raised over $2,000 and with the donation window open for the next year, we hope to see that number increase even more to help the kids of Alyn Hospital.

The fun continued in the form food as we went to a chocolate factory making our own delicious treats, leaving the factory with more chocolate that we could ever eat (mostly because we had to eat it before it melted in the heat). The next morning, we continued satisfying our taste buds in a healthier way when we went berry picking! Berry picking was a huge hit with everyone eating blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and mulberries until we couldn’t any more. Our bellies were pleased and our hands were stained with the dark juices of the fresh berries.

Other highlights of the week so far have consisted of some fantastic hikes in the Golan Heights and a relaxing morning at a spa. The excitement continues tomorrow with the much anticipated, ARMY DAY! Details about tomorrow will definitely be expressed in the next post!

Until next time,

Seidy and the rest of MII ‘14

Journeying to the Holy City of Tsfat

Posted by on July 12, 2014

We got on the bus, headed first to the Ghetto fighters Kibbutz, and then to the children’s holocaust museum. This day reconnected us with what we learned during our time inPoland. By visiting these places, we were able to understand how Jews transitioned back into society in Israel after their struggles in the holocaust. We ate in a Druze village for lunch, learned about the Druze culture, which is a fascinating secret religion.  Berg also decided to embrace his fashionable side, so he bought some cheetah print leggings that he wore and walked around in for the rest of the day.

We then moved to Tsfat for Shabbat.  We spent the day shopping, and the girls got to learn about the Mikvahs while the boys actually got to experience the Mikvah ritual itself.  We all found the experience extremely interesting and had a lot of fun.  To finish off the week, we had a great orthodox-style Shabbat on a rooftop in Tsfat.  We did lots of dancing, singing, and praying.

Although this past week, the country has been facing a time of difficulty, we have still managed to have fun, enjoy the trip, and find infinite love for Israel. By being here at this time, we have learned a lot more about the conflicts Israel faces and how the country must deal with these situations on a daily basis. We are all safe and happy, and just praying that we can spend all of our time left here in Israel.


Katie Rich and Dani Lerner

First Day in Israel

Posted by on June 27, 2014

After arriving at 2:40 A.M. in Tel Aviv, we took a bus to Jerusalem where some of us even stayed up to see the sun rise. We had a great first day in Jerusalemhaving our first shawarma and a relaxing time in the sun before Shabbat. We went into the old city for Shabbat where we had our own little Micah in Israel Shabbat service. We really enjoyed the service as a small group where everyone participated bringing the Camp Micah style of Shabbat to the streets of Jerusalem. We continued on going to the Western Wall which was a very powerful experience. It was a perfect culmination after our trip inPolandas a symbol of hope and perseverance for us as Jews. Being at the Wall helped us appreciate being inIsraeland set the tone for the rest of our trip. After visiting the Wall, we had an incredible Shabbat dinner which not even the great kitchen of Camp Micah could live up to. To end the night, one of our trip leaders from Israel, Tziporah, introduced us to some fun new games as we got to know her and our other amazing Israeli trip leader, Netanel. After being in Israel for less than twenty-four hours, we could not be more excited for our upcoming adventure!

– Hayley Cooper and Izzy Shnayderman

First Update From Poland!

Posted by on June 24, 2014

Hello Camp Micah Friends and Family,

After a somewhat restful sleep last night, we hit the ground running this morning with an hour and a half drive to Auschwitz and Birkenau. It was clear that everyone felt the whole impact of the Holocaust, and the damage it truly caused to both the people who were forced to face this, and to the surroundings of the community. All of the displays and exhibits were powerful, especially the hair and shoes of the victims, and preserved drawings by children who were forced to skip their childhood.

After the camps, feeling both more in touch with our Jewish heritage and background, we went to meet with the director of the Krakow JCC who told us about bringing back Judaism in the community. He told us about the growing amount of people who were realizing their Jewish history that their ancestors previously hid out of embarrassment.

We later met with a woman who received the “Righteous Among the Nation” award from the Israeli government. She shared a different point of view of the events during the Holocaust and shared how it was to live as a young polish girl hiding a Jew, risking her life. Everyone asked many questions and were very interested.

Ending the day on a more whimsical note, we all tried some local Polish sandwiches which were about 32 cm. It was very entertaining and a lot of tide sticks were put to use. The kids next had a great search for ice cream and odd interactions with homeless people. While on the bus, I (Matt) have started a selfie-challenge, meaning that I will take a selfie with everyone who falls asleep on the bus. It has been a successful day, tackling 8 selfies, 2 of which were our group leaders, Michelle and Seidy.

With much love (and 24 selfies left),

Matt Grosswald and Becca Gorman