JCHS News

Junior Journey: A Window on Israel from Kibbutz Gonen

Shayna D., Class of 2018
Most of us got a nice Israeli wake up at 3am courtesy of our Kibbutz Peacocks. Others woke up at 6am with the blowing of the Shofar to wake up the rest of Kibbutz Gonen. After a yummy Israeli breakfast from 8:30 to 9:00, we boarded the bus and headed to a beautiful outlook in the Golan heights.
Wow. What a day. Nobody can believe that it is still only our first full day in Israel.

Most of us got a nice Israeli wake up 
at 3 am courtesy of our Kibbutz peacocks. Others woke up at 6 am with the blowing of the Shofar to wake up the rest of Kibbutz Gonen. After a yummy Israeli breakfast from 8:30 to 9:00, we boarded the bus and headed to a beautiful outlook in the Golan heights.

We split up into a few different tefillah groups including yoga, meditation, creative writing, discussion, and siddur based. Yoga was such a nice start to the morning. We then had an orientation overlooking a gorgeous view of the North. We learned some geography (complete with a human map), talked about when the history of Israel started, and said She'echianu.

We then got back on the bus and started our hike. It was definitely challenging but I think we'd all agree it was worth it. I don't know how to describe the feeling of being so peaceful in nature yet staring at a sign that says: "Danger, land mines." I have a feeling we will all have different definitions of peace after this journey. At the end of our hike we had a nice picnic lunch staring at yet another breathtaking view.

After lunch we hopped back on the bus and then stopped to meet current Israeli soldiers patrolling the border with Lebanon. We met with them in small groups and some of us even got to practice our Hebrew. It was so interesting to hear about lives so different from our own. A lot of those soldiers are only a few years older than us. We told them what life is like in America and they told us what it's like to be in the army. When we got back on the bus it was unbelievable to see Israel out one window and Lebanon out the other. All we had to do was turn our heads and we were looking at a completely different world.

When we got off the bus we walked down a path through kiwi orchards that led to the fence between the two countries. We learned about how Israel defends itself and what it's like to live on a Kibbutz right on the border. After placing an Israeli flag on a rock near the border, we all boarded the bus and went to meet the teens from the Mechina program. We played a bunch of fun ice-breaker games. Even though we didn't all speak the same language, we all knew how to laugh together and have a good time. We had a lovely dinner and then an Israeli dance party where we danced and sang and just had the time of our lives.

Good night from Kibbutz Gonen. Can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store. 
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Jewish Community High School of the Bay
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The Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) is a unique college preparatory high school committed to integrating deep learning, universal wisdom, and Jewish values. We empower each student to embrace her or his Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.