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Up North: both Fun and Heartbreak

May 19, 2018
News from the The Challah Family:

Day 3 aAfter waking up at the crack of dawn, we enjoyed a traditional Israeli breakfast. We all loaded up the bus and headed north towards the Galilee, where we took a nature walk. We walked along the Israel trail where many of us fell in the water and mud (but it was still a blast)! The views were outstanding and it was cool seeing the mountains, river, and beautiful fields of flowers. It served as a nice juxtaposition to the urbanization of Tel Aviv we saw yesterday. We ate a delicious lunch of falafel or schwarma. 

Then we put on our bathing suits and sunscreen and headed to our rafting adventure. We got in groups of five and coasted along the Jordan River!!! It was very relaxing and a good bonding activity with the group. After rafting, we changed and headed further north to the Golan Heights. We drove to the top of the mountain to breathtaking views of Israel. 
We even saw miles into Syria and felt the eerie sense of the situation the country is going through. Gadi, our guide, educated and updated us about the conflict going on in Syria, which was really heavy to hear. We met UN soldiers from Estonia and Switzerland and had the chance to speak with them. We were able to explore the bunker in the mountain no longer in use. Experiencing this changed our mindsets and how we looked at the Syrian war. We see news in America about this issue all the time, but there is nothing like experiencing it in person. It was heart-breaking. 
Day 3 bAfter this, we took the bus back home and had some dinner. We ended the night with some lovely Israeli dancing. We can’t wait for the days to come!!!
High: rafting
Low: learning about the realities of the conflicts going on in neighboring countries
The Challah family️
Daniel Cantwell, Clare James, Samantha Silverstein, Noland Cotzin, Will Sagerdahl, Sarah Horvitz

Editor's note: Students are split into smaller "families" for some activities. Each family will be sending us a blog update every few days. Birthright Israel blog posts are written by individual students and may not represent the opinion or position of North Carolina Hillel.

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