Three Generations Abroad – Part 1
As soon as I agree to send my daughter on her school trip to Israel, I know that this is an opportunity for a unique experience for my family. My mother and I decide to join my daughter and her class in Israel. From the first steps in Israel, we are captivated by the sites, smells, and tastes. For any lover of history and true heroic adventures, Israel is for you. Whether you are seeking religious history in 2000 year old cities or passionate for more recent 100 year old Tel Aviv, you will hear fantastic stories of pioneers, warriors and meet those who continue to create such passionate and dynamic culture.
After our long flight, checking into the Inbal in Jerusalem, we venture immediately to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum. One can spend a whole day learning about the horrific violence that occurred and hear survivors tell their own personal stories of living through the war, watching others die, and fighting in the resistance. Following the museum, we have dinner at the David Citadel hotel and then back to the Inbal for a good night’s sleep. In the past few years, the culinary experience has skyrocketed in Israel. Food is fresh and delicious and is more than just great falafel on the street.
Day 2 is a private tour with a guide through Jerusalem and then north to Netanya and Caesarea. For lovers of history, walking the same steps as King Herod is an exciting adventure. We see the ampitheater, his palace and our tour guide tells us wonderful stories of his life (74-4 BCE). He is known for his madness and for the incredible amount of construction. Overlooking the water, we have pizza and salad for lunch. Feeling physically and intellectually full, we return to Jerusalem to meet up with my daughter and her class for Shabbat. We meet up with the kids and walk to the Western Wall (Kotel) for what is one of the most spiritual and moving Shabbat I have experienced. 35 of us sit together on the South side of the wall to pray, share thoughts and dance together. As the sun sets, we walk back to the main side of the wall for some private and individual prayers and then walk to have Shabbat dinner together. Jetlag hits my mother and me and we excuse ourselves to get some sleep.
Day 3 is Saturday and is another full day of touring with a drive through Jerusalem with our tour guide. Our guide also takes us to the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the current exhibit on King Herod. After seeing this exhibit, I have great admiration for archeologist including Ehud Netzer who dedicated his life to excavating the tomb of King Herod. A must see exhibit if you go… Once we leave the museum, we check out of the hotel and head to Tel Aviv. Once we arrive in Tel Aviv, my mother and I check into the hotel, drop our bags in the hotel and immediately take a walk to start exploring this incredibly modern city. Our hotel is 2 blocks from the Tel Aviv Port which is a cool destination for many Tel Avivians and their families. Cool shops and restaurants line the boardwalk and many people are out walking, riding bikes or riding their scooters. We find a busy seafood restaurant and give it a try. Great conversation with my mother, good food, and a charming waiter make for a successful first night in Tel Aviv.
Stay tuned for part two of my vacation…