Monday, July 27, 2015

Friday: The day of Social Justice through Shabbat

July 24-25th Written by Shachar Berkowitz-Regosin
We started off the day with a short bus ride to a residence for people with special needs. Some of us were nervous as we arrived but as soon as we met the residence we immediately began conversing through dancing, painting, and a lot of laughing. Despite the nerves some of us had, the connections made between us, the fellows, and the residents were inspiring, meaningful, and filled with joy for all of us. We took a break from all the fun to eat some lunch and after, a Arab-American woman from Haifa with a feminist organization called "woman to woman" (isha leisha) came to discuss the organization with us. We talked about how different types of  bullying can impact kids and young adults and heard the story of how she got involved with the organization. Many of us were amazed by her strength and we were very thankful that she came to talk to us.

As we finished our programming early on Friday for Shabbat, I got ready to join my host family for a Friday night dinner in honor of my Israeli's grandmother's birthday. Everyone gathered together and I was quickly accepted into her family. As I ate delicious food and talked to many of her family members, I learned a lot about Israeli culture and family. I was fully immersed in a family so different than than my own family who were half way around the world eating a Friday night dinner of their own, yet I felt so at home.

The next day, after some much needed sleep, I prepared to spend the day with my host family learning and experiencing even more of Haifa. We first walked around Acco, the old city of Haifa, and went to the shuk there. The shuk was filled with amazing spices, beautiful jewelry, and delicious Arabic food. After a short boat ride around Acco we ate a lunch of handmade, warm, hummus and pita. After our delicious meal we moved on to snorkeling, our last activity for the day. With a couple of other fellows we took a boat to go snorkeling in the beautiful, crystal clear water near Haifa. We saw all different kinds of fish and jellyfish and went walking on an island in the ocean. It was a wonderful way to spend Shabbat!

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