Israel 2016 Day 1

The travel is not easy. 6 hours + from Atlanta to Paris; a 3-hour layover in Paris and then 4 hours + from Paris to Tel Aviv.

But a reward awaited us on the other side.

Our trip has finally begun! After a year and a half of planning and revising and, most importantly, dreaming, we assembled at the airport in Tel Aviv and met our tour guide, Ronnie. We are a group of 35 people and, before I tell you about our trip, let me tell you about our group:

  • We are mostly members of Temple Sinai, though we do have a few people who are not affiliated with the synagogue;
  • We are mostly first-timers to Israel, though we do have a few people who have been to Israel through school over the last few years and a few people who have been to Israel several decades ago.
  • We are a group with a few participants who will actually be returning to Israel in a few months with their school group but whose parents wanted to share the experience of a first-visit with them.
  • We are grandparents taking grandkids.
  • We are a 7-year old.
  • And now we begin to become one family.

Our Israel adventure started with a short bus ride around Tel Aviv on Friday afternoon, a moment that stands out due the sheer normalcy of it all; this is not Shabbat in Jerusalem where there is a calm that descends on the city. Already we are busting assumptions of the group and meeting not the Israel about which we have heard but rather the Israel that we will experience.

We had a nice Shabbat dinner in the hotel, a dinner filled with laughter and stories and wine and challah. The food was great – and abundant – and the sentiment was joyous. We are all happy to be here and it showed!

After the dinner, some participants went to their rooms to get a good night of sleep following our day of travel but a few of us went on a walk outside. This is NOT “summertime in Israel.” It was cool and breezy. But it was beautiful. And it was exiting. And it was Tel Aviv.

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Published in: on December 24, 2016 at 10:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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