If any of you have ever been to Israel before the name Ben-Gurion should be very familiar. If you ask most teenagers what they think of when they hear the name, most of them will say that it’s the name of Israel’s airport, near Tel Aviv. Even those students that know that he was a Prime Minister of Israel, know very little about him or the fact that he navigated Israel through some very turbulent times. Part of the TJJ experience is learning about the history of the modern state of Israel and the foundation of the Zionist movement. So what better person to begin with, than with the first Prime Minister of Israel – David Ben Gurion. And the best place to start with TJJ is the Negev, the site of the David Ben Gurion Memorial. At the memorial park we got to see a new film about his life and learned a number of facts about the founding of the State of Israel. We also learned why Ben Gurion moved to the Negev (which is literally a desert) and why he chose to be buried there rather than on Mt Herzl along with all of Israel’s leaders. Gen Gurion was a man of action and a visionary who dream is still being actualized today, a very impressive character for our teens to admire.
The desert, besides being very hot in the summer, has a very special character. On one of our stops we visited a natural crater, where the stones and sand had a number of different tones and colors. All of the teens were given glass bottles and had a chance to fill the bottles with different layers of the colored sand and then seal it for you to see. But the amazing sights didn’t stop there, because as we began our journey to Eilat he passed so many spectacular natural wonders, that were literally draw dropping.
After checking into our hotel in Eilat we all went out for dinner to a restaurant called Burgers Bar, where everyone got to create there own delicious hamburger. After dinner there was free time in the area and the teens enjoyed the free time after a long hot day. When you think of Eilat, the first thing that comes to mind is the water and the beaches and we got to do it all! We went banana boating, tubing, canoeing and paddle boating. After some fun in the sun, we boarded a boat for a two hour cruise that so relaxing, and of course everyone had the chance to jump off the boat into the water again. With such hot weather there is nothing that beats the cool refreshing feeling of the cool water. Tonight we have a surprise night activity planned so please stay tuned for more updates!!
Inspire yourself to inspire others…
Rabbi Josh Broide
Director of TJJ Bus 5