Riding On A Donkey

Our first morning in Israel already brought new connections and new friendships during a visit to בית ספר אורט כרמים, a school in the Karmiel-Misgav area, Pittsburgh’s Partnership region in Israel. Today, we were led in fun ice-breaker games with 8th Grade Israeli students by three of the four new Shinshinim (18-year-old Israeli emissaries) who will be spending the coming year in Pittsburgh. The CDS and Karmiel students “met” each other earlier in the year through Skype and as virtual pen-pals, so it was exciting to finally come together in person.

We also toured the school’s beautiful campus and joined in dancing and even singing הִנֵּה מַה טּוֹב (Hineh Mah Tov) in the round. On Sunday, we will continue to put our Hebrew skills to the test as we meet up again with our Karmiel friends for an adventure in the Golan Heights. Meantime, you can enjoy their voices together here …

Not a bad performance for just 10 minutes of rehearsal!

From present-day Karmiel, we traveled back about 1,800 years ago to the time and place where the Mishnah was compiled by Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi (Judah the Prince). At Kfar Kedem, they recreate the way of life of our Jewish ancestors in the Galilee, teaching visitors about how ancient peoples worked the land, Jewish agricultural laws, some wisdom of our second-century sages, and our connection to the land of Israel through the millennia. The outdoor pita-making and delicious “Hafla” lunch are an annual CDS Israel trip favorite, and this year didn’t disappoint. Of course everyone has to dress the part in a tunic and keffiyeh (photos are slightly blue because of the overhead shade protecting us from the Galilee sun!) …

We recorded a special greeting for our parents in the audience, and then it was time to board our donkeys … we have some naturally expert riders (and drivers) on this trip, which is a skill that should hopefully come in handy when it is time to meet our camels in the desert next week.

After a hot afternoon, our first Aroma איס קפה (ice cafe) was a welcome treat, as was a dip in the hotel pool. Tomorrow morning, we head for water fun on the Kinneret here in the holy city of Tverya before our ascent to Tzfat for a spiritual experience before we celebrate our first Shabbat here in Israel.

One thought on “Riding On A Donkey

  1. Look at these amazing kids having the time of their lives – making connections and having new experiences. So so happy to read about their fun-filled first day in Israel! I guess there isn’t another redhead other than my Ivry! Can’t wait for the next installments!


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