University of Maryland – Yahel Insight Program Update

After meeting in Jerusalem in the pouring rain, we finally arrived in Rishon Lezion today! We spent the morning traveling first from Jerusalem to one of our staff members, Racheli’s home, in Carmi Yosef. We spent a couple hours here playing different ice breakers to get to know the group better, ate lunch, and learned more about the trip. From here, we traveled to see an overview of her town and saw various cities from the top of the hill. After this, we finally arrived at our destination in Rishon! We have an awesome apartment as our “home base” where we will spend time learning and having most of our meals here. Once we got here, after fighting the rain, we did some more beginning of the trip activities. After having a delicious Israeli dinner, the spiritual leader, the Kess, of the Ethiopian community in Ramat Eliyahu (the neighborhood of Rishon we are in) came and talked to us about his role in the community. It was very insightful to see how important and respectful the Kess was and to hear his story. Towards the end of the night, everyone went around and shared their highs and lows of the days. Finally, each family came to pick us up and take us to our home-stays for the next 10 days! We must catch some sleep now, so we are ready for our busy day tomorrow of painting a bomb shelter and hearing from the director of Friends by Nature, the local NGO Yahel works with here. More posts and pictures to come!

 

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