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TRIP DIARY 2016 DAY 3

Photos by Bentzi Sasson & Mendy Hechtman

Day 3 – Wednesday

The third day we enjoyed a lovely boat ride on the Mediterranean Sea. Some departed from the biblical port of Jaffa, others from Ashdod, an ancient stronghold of the Philistines. Live music on the boat lent a joyous atmosphere as we enjoyed the view of Israel’s coast from the water.

We all had a chance to visit with our brothers and sisters living near the border with Hamas-controlled Gaza. In Sderot, the first group heard what it’s like to live in the “Bomb Shelter Capital of the World.” We were all awed by their formidable endurance coping with the reality of regular rocket attacks and happy to voice our sympathy and support. At lunch in the picturesque Kibbutz Alumim, we heard from the members about their unique lifestyle on an agricultural commune practicing the classic collective lifestyle in the shadow of Gaza border.

We all got an eye-opening education about the reality of protecting the communities in the south with a lookout over the Gazan border. The straightforward report of what Israel’s security forces face provided a perspective not portrayed in the media. Toward evening we came to Genesis Land for an experiential experience of the biblical era. Riding camels, making our own pita bread in an outdoor oven, making bricks. During the outdoor dinner, we heard from modern-day Israeli heroic civilians who faced and conquered terror. Dinner was followed by live music, dancing and a stunning fireworks display.

We arrived late in the evening to check in to our new, lovely accommodations in Jerusalem at the luxurious David Citadel Hotel just steps from the Old City.