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Birthright Blog: Deepening our understanding of Israeli History

May 16, 2019

By Sophie Polgar, UNC-Chapel Hill '22  

After the first complete day of our trip, everyone is refreshed and hopefully jet lag free. We had a real Israeli breakfast, which was a lot more savory than some of us are used to. Then the group boarded the bus full and content, eventually arriving at a water-based trail. 

Treading and wading through water, some slipped in the mud. Luckily, our Keens and Chackos kept us action-ready. In the midst of these physical activities, our Israeli guide taught us about wildlife and Golan history.
Birthright group photo

The next stop was the Syrian borders—both before 1967 and the current limits. Understanding this geography is key to forming our own opinions and understanding of Israel. Another important discussion was about the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Being physically at the border lookouts framed our discussion of these 2 conflicts.

Lastly, the group rafted down the famous Jordan River. We splashed, crashed, and bonded to finish Day 2. The night came to its final close with a poetry/naming program led by the wonderful Rabbi Melissa. 

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