Last week, we spent a day walking through Jerusalem, with frequent stops to appreciate our surroundings. Our first stop was the Jerusalem Bird Observatory, tucked in the woods between the Knesset and Sacher Park. Next, we played some frisbee in the park before heading through the Nachlaot neighborhood, then to the Machne Yehuda market for lunch and exploration. Later, we stopped at the Aardvark Jerusalem offices to refresh and discuss the different types of people we observed around the city. Next, we walked down Jaffa Street though the center of town, past Safra Square to the Old City, through the Jaffa Gate and then into the Jewish Quarter, arriving at the southern end of the Western Wall. Among the excavations, we sat where pluralistic services are often held, and we discussed the significance of the remains of the Temple before entering the Kotel (Western Wall) Plaza where men and women touch the Wall and offer their prayers, notes, and meditations. After making our way back out through the Jaffa Gate, we ended the day at the Mamilla pedestrian mall, where everyone dispersed to explore further on their own. All in all, it was a day of exploration, rediscovery, and twenty thousand steps through Jerusalem!
The next day, we traveled to Zichron Ya’akov, a beautiful, picturesque town in the northern part of Israel, where we learned about the life of Baron Rothschild, who helped establish and develop agriculture, health and education services in the land of Israel.