Day 9: Netzach, Israel - Ilana Slobedman

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We started our journey to Israel with an early start, having to wake up at 6:15am to be at breakfast by 6:45am. We had a quick breakfast, grabbed our bags and hopped onto the bus for the short drive the airport near by - the whole time singing Israeli songs and screaming out that we were 'going home'. It was still dark and snowy when we left, many of us weren’t dressed for the snow as we were ready to go to warmer Israel. We arrived at Warsaw airport, and whilst waiting to check in we split into our family groups where we got a chance to bond and talk while we waited. After going through security questions, checking in, security and border control we were finally making our way to the gate where we stayed for almost an hour in anticipation of the journey that we were about to embark on - the journey of a lifetime to the Holy Land, the land of the Jewish people! We boarded the plane with excitement, found our seats, and shortly after the plane was de-iced because of the snow, we took off squealing with excitement! 

Just after 3.00pm we began our descent into Israel after a 3.5 hour long flight. It was amazing to fly over Israel and be able to see the whole country from a birds eye view. The whole of IST sung Israeli songs - despite greatly annoying the air hostesses, and began the countdown 5...4...3...2...1!  We had landed. Everyone was screaming with joy and excitement, we had finally made it to Israel, the home of the Jewish people. 

We departed from the plane, and for many of us, walked onto Israeli land for the first time! After going through customs, collecting our bags and receiving our sim cards, we hopped on our bus and met our tour guide who would be the one take us around the beautiful country of Israel.  We straight away drove to the Kotel in Jerusalem which only took an hour, and it truly was a beautiful hour! We drove through Jerusalem (even the Old City) with the bright super moon staring down onto the earth. 

We felt at home! 

We arrived at the Shar Tzion carpark and being my first time I was blind folded and walked to the Kotel! We stood there in anticipation, not knowing what to expect or how we would react.  We got a tap on the shoulder and took our blindfolds off, only to see the Kotel towering in front of us. It was not only beautiful but also extremely emotional to be with my friends seeing the Kotel for the very first time. It was the best experience that I possibly could have asked for. 

After experiencing the blindfolding ceremony and taking plenty of photos - in true tourist style, we headed up to the Montefiore hall, still in shock over the fact that we were actually in Israel!   After an incredible dinner, where plates filled with food just kept on arriving, we headed to our hotel where we went to our rooms and went to bed. Ending our first day of Israel in high spirits, and proud to be going to sleep in our home land and the land of the Jewish people. It's great to be finally home!

Day 9: Lehava, Israel - Jessica Fittinghoff and Mikayla Edelman

Day 8: Lehava Poland - Coby Simmons and Ben Silbermann