Today’s guest blog post was written by Hannah Froiland. Hannah is one of the amazing participants on the Yahel Social Change Program this year.
Many of the Yahelnikim have been going to Shabbat services at a few of the different congregations in Gedera, including the progressive synagogue. After our visit for Friday night services, we were invited to come along on their hike and picnic for Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Day.
Yitzhak Rabin was the prime minister of Israel when he was assassinated in November 1995. His memorial day is celebrated on the Hebrew calendar date of when he was killed. At many schools in Israel, including two of the schools that some of the Yahelnikim work at, there were ceremonies for the day and the students and teachers dressed in all white.
We went on the hike with the progressive synagogue the Saturday before Yitzhak Memorial Day. The hike was on the Burma Road outside of Jerusalem. A bunch of the families, including my host family, came and picked us up and squeezed one or two of us into each of their cars and drove us to the hike. I drove with a really sweet family and bonded with their daughter and son listening to music and taking pictures on our phones. I love getting to know the kids in our Shapira/ Gedera community and singing songs we both know is always a great way to bond, especially when communication is a little tougher because of my Hebrew/their English levels.
The hike was relatively easy but along the way we would stop and different adults from the congregation would tell the kids about Yitzhak Rabin and his days as a soldier ( other people kindly translated for us ). The views from the hike were pretty and it was fun getting to know more people from Gedera.
(taking a break from the hike to hear more about Yitzhak Rabin from one of the congregant members)
After the hike we got back in the cars and headed to a nearby park for a potluck picnic. We sat around and talked with the families and played with the kids. I spent time with my youngest host sister playing tag and forcing her to do a photo shoot with me. 🙂
As we get to know each other better we are both getting braver about me using my Hebrew and her using her English to speak to each other, but when all else fails acting things out gets us by and makes us laugh.