It’s On Like Donkey Kong

“You might have seen a housefly, maybe even a superfly, but I bet you ain’t never seen a donkeyfly!” – Shrek

We began our day meeting 8th graders from Psagot High School in the city of Karmiel, where there have been strong bonds with Pittsburgh’s Jewish community for nearly two decades. Our students have exchanged pen-pal letters with the Israeli students over the past year, and several knew each other already through other Partnership 2Gether programs and even from Emma Kaufmann Camp.

Although most of the students had never met face-to-face, and they are still learning each other’s languages, there was no communication barrier. They shared the common teenage language of pop music, smartphones, sports, and school, and made quick friendships. The Psagot students gave the CDS group a guided tour of their school, and they participated in ice-breaker games together in Hebrew and English before they spend the day together tomorrow. Here’s a glimpse at the fun in photos (click any image to enlarge):

From Karmiel, it was on to Kfar Kedem, where we traveled back in time 1,800 years to the time of the Mishnah, dressing in the finest desert fashions to protect from the blazing heat, learning how to harvest wheat, enjoying a traditional meal together of kebabs, hummus, and pita, and then, of course, going for a donkey ride—hee haw!

After our donkey adventure, we headed for the gorgeous Ron Beach hotel in Tverya, which is owned by Maya G.’s grandfather, who generously hosted us for a beautiful afternoon of swimming in the pool and a dip in the Kinneret followed by dinner.

It was wonderful to reminisce about CDS Israel trips past with alumni Destin (Class of 2009) and Dylan Groff (Class of 2011) and their family, in Israel for a family wedding. Destin even had this photo from her own Kfar Kedem experience on her phone. Todah Rabah to the entire Groff family for the fabulous time and for the memories!

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