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Tiyul At Bernard Zell

Here, at the intersection of learning our life, our students create their own Jewish identities. The culmination of the Bernard Zell education is our Tiyul, when 8th-graders take a two-week journey to Israel. The years of learning come together in a life-changing visit to Israel they never forget. 
See below for the Class of 2019's adventures and follow along as they give their insights about their days in Israel!
 
Tiyul Day 1
Abby C., Chloe F., Noah L.

The excitement in the airport was visible by the huge smiles on each of our faces as we arrived and gathered into our point groups. After making it through security, with only minor bumps, we sat outside our gate as we were delayed for 45 minutes. The plane ride to Newark was efficient and quick, despite our concern about missing the connecting flight. After landing in Newark, we all quickly ran through the airport to catch our flight to Tel Aviv. We went through the second round of security before boarding the plane, but once we got through, it was smooth sailing. Most of us entertained ourselves on the flight by watching movies, coloring, reading, doing crossword puzzles, talking to friends, and most importantly...sleeping. 

  • Jewish Life
  • Middle School
  • Tiyul
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Tiyul Day 2
Riley A., Belle L., and Gabi J.

Our Day 2 started bright and early at 5:23 a.m. when a few jet-lagged 8th graders decided to throw a party on the second floor of our hostel. Around 8:00, we hopped on the bus to head over to the Tel Aviv Innovation Center where we learned about new inventions and successes in Israel. The students thought it was really cool to interact with new companies such as a Pillcam and a company that pulls drinkable water out of air. During our time at the Innovation Center, we stopped at 10:00 AM for a two-minute-long siren to commemorate the Shoah, as it was Holocaust Remembrance Day here in Israel. We thought it was one of the most moving and important experiences of our Jewish journey. This was a very chilling moment for our grade and brought us closer to each other and to Israel. 

  • Jewish Life
  • Middle School
  • Tiyul
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Tiyul - Days 2 & 3
Jenna, Mollie, Josh

Day 3 of the trip started off pretty early. We packed up, ate breakfast and were on the bus by 8:30 in the morning to head to Jerusalem. We sat by point person groups for the hour-long ride through the countryside. 

We arrived at the Mount of Olives for a beautiful view of the city of Jerusalem. It was a great picture opportunity. We also said the shehecheyanu and celebrated our first moments together overlooking the ancient city. We ate an energizing snack and drank grape juice to prepare for the day ahead. 

  • Jewish Life
  • Middle School
  • Tiyul
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Tiyul Day 4
Gavin, Yasmin, Zoe

We started off our morning with a meditational Tefillah led by some of our friends. We said our favorite prayers and in between did some breathing exercises and had a few conversations about the meaning of teffilah.

Then, we had free time when many of us went swimming at the hotel pool. Many of us had family come and visit, which was very fun. In the afternoon, we got to go on a tour of the Ramat Rachel kibbutz where they are “rich with no money.” Throughout this tour we learned how the kibbutz supported its families with necessities such as food, cars, and shelter. We got to see their lifestyle through this tour and see how kibbutz living is like. As a reward for our good participation throughout the tour our tour guide let us visit his strawberry fields. We got to pick and try fresh strawberries, which were delicious! 

  • Jewish Life
  • Middle School
  • Tiyul
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Tiyul Day 5
Maddy M., Samantha, and Sasha G.

Today was an incredible and eventful day. To start off the day, we traveled to the Old City of Jerusalem. We started with an archeological tour of the City of David; this included a water hike. The water hike was through the tunnel that David built to transport water into his city. We walked underground in a narrow tunnel made of stone with water up to our ankles. It was very dark and difficult to see; especially when we turned off our flashlights. After we dried off and had a midday treat. We headed back to the Kotel for the most exciting part of our day; Sasha Golubchik’s Bar Mitzvah!

  • Jewish Life
  • Middle School
  • Tiyul
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Tiyul Day 6
Zach, Simon, Lizzy

The Geopolitical Tour was all about the Israel-Palestine conflict. We started off our tour when we went over the green line. In the UN’s eye, past the green line is disputed territory, but in the Israelis eye, it is part of Jerusalem. 

We then made a stop at a viewpoint that overlooked Bethlehem which is a part of the West Bank. We learned that the Palestinians live in the West Bank and that it is their safe place. We also noticed that there were security borders surrounding Bethlehem and the entire West Bank. Our tour guide informed us that those walls and fences are used to protect the Israeli communities outside of the West Bank.

  • Jewish Life
  • Middle School
  • Tiyul
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Tiyul Day 7
AJ, Eli and Jordan

Today we are writing from our first day at Neve Shalom! We arrived safely last night and have had a great stay so far. Today we saw the Mifgash kids. They met us at Neve Shalom this morning and we had a couple of ice breaker games so that we could meet the nine new kids they brought with them. After the ice breakers, we all headed to an outdoor cooking activity where we were able to bond and have fun cooking. We learned how to cook shakshuka, pasta, and a salad and it expanded our communicating skills because we had to communicate with kids that aren’t fluent in our language. 

  • Jewish Life
  • Middle School
  • Tiyul
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Tiyul Day 8
Julia, Max and Phoebe

We started our day off with a hike at Ein Avdat, a nature reserve with hidden water pools in the desert. During the hike we stopped and learned about the plants in the desert and the fascinating ways they adapt to their harsh environment. We ended the hike with an uphill route which was pretty exhausting and hard… you will definitely be hearing more of this when we hike Masada!

  • Jewish Life
  • Middle School
  • Tiyul
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Tiyul Day 9
Oli, Cam and Josie

During the Makhtesh Hike, we learned about how craters form during the process of erosion. While hiking, our tour guide, Yonatan, explained to us that by using certain desert plants and mixing them with water, you can naturally wash your hands. Also, we participated in a fun erosion demonstration activity using a watermelon. We took spoons and took turns spooning out watermelon — or at least we tried. All the students ended up harnessing their inner barbarian and grabbing the watermelon with their bare hands and slurping the juice. Overall, we had an awesome hike full of learning, watermelon eating and messy clothes. 

  • Jewish Life
  • Middle School
  • Tiyul
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Tiyul Day 10
Gabe, Rose and Rachel

Today we had a packed day! We went to Masada, Ein Gedi, and the Dead Sea.

Masada: At Masada we hiked up the Roman Ramp, which took us about 15 minutes, which was much faster than we expected. Once we were at the top of Masada, we learned about the events that occurred on the top of the fortress. The story was told by six eighth grade volunteers (Max, Zach, Annabelle, Brit, Andrew, and A.J.) who took on the role of a character in the time of Masada and read monologues about a certain person’s life. They even had costumes! 

  • Jewish Life
  • Middle School
  • Tiyul
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Tiyul Day 11
Riley J, Natalie, and Marissa

Today was such a fun day! To start the day, we had a relaxing tefillah led by some of our friends which included praying, yoga, and blessing interpretation. The morning tefillah was very meaningful because it was our last day observing Shabbat as a grade. This tefillah was extra special because it was done outside in order for us to appreciate the nature around us. 

  • Jewish Life
  • Middle School
  • Tiyul
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Tiyul Day 12
Maddie, Sasha and Annabelle

This morning we started out on a hike at Baniyas. We visited an old Roman Pagan temple where we learned the story of the god Pan. After the temple, we started the hike. It was very beautiful and sunny, there were flowers surrounding us and a small breeze. In the middle of the hike we stopped at a tiny Druze pizza shop. We all tried honey or cheese pita pizza. It was really good! We also saw a beautiful waterfall and walked up some stairs for the rest of the hike. It was a good start to the day.

  • Israel
  • Jewish Life
  • Middle School
  • Tiyul
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