Tel Aviv Weekly Email
We had an exciting week here in out Rothschild Community.
On Sunday, the students in each apartment were challenged to ask each other questions that don’t usually come up in conversation. They went to a park by the beach, ate some snacks, and got to know their roomates in a deeper and more meaningful way.
On Tuesday, we went to the Kiryat Gat area. We opened the day with a short hike in “Hurbat Midras,” what was left of an agricultural village. Most of the ruins seen there are from the late Roman era. The area is filled with remains of old houses, old graves, and limestone caves.
Walking inside the caves of Hurbat Midras
At the village, the students learned about the Ethiopian community in Israel and about their courageous Aliyah. We met Geula, who told us her story, including the long journey she and her family took in order to come to Israel. The students participated in the Boona ceremony, which involves making the special Boona coffee and eating the special Dabbo bread, and then we helped build a hut out of mud.
“We had quite an adventurous Tiyul this week, to say the least. We spent the morning crawling through ancient limestone caves in Kiryat Gat. These caves were carved out by ancient Jews around the year 130 CE and were used as secret hideouts in Bar Kokhba’s Revolt, a battle against the powerful Roman army. It was amazing to climb through the same spaces where soldiers once hid, and learning the history of the caves made the experience much more meaningful.
After a quick lunch break, we jumped on the bus to visit a nearby Beta Israel community. Beta Israelis, or Ethiopian Jews, were isolated from mainstream Jewish communities for over a millennium. Today, however, more than 119,000 people of Ethiopian descent live in Israel, including about 40,000 native-born Israelis.
One woman, Geula, shared with us the powerful story of her immigration to Israel 30 years ago. During a journey spanning more than two years, she trekked with her mother and infant sister from Ethiopia, into Sudan, and ultimately to Israel. She then led us in a boona ceremony, a ceremony performed every day, three times a day, in order to gather as a family before meals. We got to try dabo (Ethiopian bread) and Ethiopian coffee.
We also learned how to construct a traditional mud hut. We carried over buckets and then, using just our hands, mixed the mud out of a trough of dirt and water. Once our hands were throughly caked in it, we placed the mud onto the sides of a straw hut.
Tuesday’s Tiyul was a great mix of adventure and culture, and we walked away from the day’s activities with a better understanding of Israel’s ancient history, as well as the Beta Israeli group that forms part of its modern society.”
On Wednesday evening, the students enjoyed a fun and exciting sunset barbeque by the beach. We made hot dogs, kebabs, and hamburgers, as well as s’mores; everything was delicious!
The Madrich on call for this weekend is Netta
Have a great weekend,