CBST in Israel

CBST In-Depth Trip to Israel

Monday, November 12 through Tuesday, November 20

Follow along with regular updates from the group on this page, our Facebook, and posts tagged #CBSTinIsrael!

Monday, November 12
CBST's first day in Israel opened with a discussion with Tel Aviv University law professor Aeyal Gross and Rabbi Noa Sattath, director of the Israel Religious Action Center - IRAC and long-time friend of CBST - they do important work for equality and justice in Israel, especially for LGBTQ+ Israelis, for progressive Jews and religious minorities and others. The day included a walking tour of Tel Aviv, learning about the history of Bauhaus architecture, meeting young Israelis in a mechina (pre-army) program run by the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, and time to reflect at the site where former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated - now called Rabin Square. The mix of reflecting on a tragedy that signaled the end of a real peace process and hearing the voices of young people just beginning to chart their paths into the future was profound.

Tuesday, November 13
Day two of CBST’s trip to Israel began with sunrise in the desert at Mitzpeh Ramon, biking and hiking and enjoying the beauty of the desert. We drank wine from the Rukum winery, the first to make their wine under the supervision of Masorti rabbis - the Israeli Conservative movement - rather than the orthodox rabbanut. In a place where orthodoxy is the only officially recognized form of Judaism, it is a radical act to recognize the authority of progressive rabbinic leaders. We learned about the Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel, and met Naftali Aklum, an Ethiopian Jew who, at the age of six months, came to Israel with his family and thousands of other Ethiopian Jews, making the treacherous trek of 300 miles from their home to the Sudan in order to come to Israel. Their story—and the story of their assimilation into Israeli society—is incredible, and fraught. Later came a visit to Sidreh / Lakiya Weaving, near Beersheva, a Bedouin womens’ weaving cooperative which has created a healthy, supportive, sustainable center for this part of the Bedouin community.

CBST Families with Children Trip to Israel

Wednesday, August 22 through Sunday, September 2, 2018

We’ll keep the congregation up to date on our adventures and learning experiences. Follow along on this page, our e-newsletter, and our Facebook (using the hashtag #CBSTinIsrael). You can also see daily uploads of photographs on our online album.

Thursday, August 23
The Families With Kids adventure has begun. Travelers gathered at Ramat Rachel after some long flights and previous travel. Getting together as a group to plan the days ahead.

Friday, August 24
Recited the traditional "shehechiyanu" at the overlook of the Old and New City of Jerusalem. Waded through the water tunnel of King Hezekiah, visited the pluralistic and other sections sections of the Kotel (Western Wall), lunched in the Jewish Quarter, and then enjoyed Kabbalat Shabbat services at Kehillat Kol Haneshema. A selection of pictures is below and all can be found at: https://cbstfamilytrip.smugmug.com/Friday/.

Saturday, August 25, 2018
Shabbat in Jerusalem
--To view all the photos from today go to: cbstfamilytrip.smugmug.com/Saturday

Families with kids walked along the ramparts of the Old City and visited the Christian Quarter. This afternoon is the Bar Mitzvah of Derek Frank-Lerner at Kehillat Kol Haneshema. Mazal tov!!









Sunday, August 26, 2018
Into the Desert, Masada, and the Dead Sea -- To view all the photos from today go to https://cbstfamilytrip.smugmug.com/Sunday.

Sunday saw the Families With Kids in Israel walking up the Snake Path to be awed by the sunrise over Masada. The group also visited Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and floated in the Dead Sea.



















Monday, August 27, 2018

To view all the photos from today go to https://cbstfamilytrip.smugmug.com/Monday.

Another eventful day for Families with Children trip to Israel, beginning with a visit to the Yad BeYad (Hand in Hand) Bilingual school, which fosters a positive environment for Jewish and Arab children to learn together. After lunching at the Machane Yehuda market, the group had a hands on archaeological experience in the historic Beit Guvrin Caves.









Tuesday, August 28, 2018

To view all the photos from today go to https://cbstfamilytrip.smugmug.com/Tuesday.

Today our CBST Families with Kids experienced Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Museum, many for the first time. After such a moving experience we made our way North to the Galilee, stopping along the way for a Druze cooking class. טעים מאוד!


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

To view all the photos from today go to https://cbstfamilytrip.smugmug.com/Wednesday.

The group began Wednesday with off-road Jeep riding in the Golan Heights, shared falafel at a Druze restaurant, then enjoyed rafting and kayaking on the Jordan River. The day ended with a first-hand look at the Israel-Lebanon border guided by a former Israeli senior intelligence officer. 


Thursday, August 30, 2018

To view all the photos from today go to: cbstfamilytrip.smugmug.com/Thursday-2.

Last night Moti, the trip's bus driver, shared his gripping life story with the group. This morning the group visited Sindyanna, a co-op run jointly by Arab and Jewish women that markets olive oil and other artisanal products, tasted olive oil, made jars of Za’atar, a middle eastern spice combination, and supported their work with some serious shopping. Then it was off to Tel Aviv to visit Independence Hall, hear about the foundation of Tel Aviv, and sing Hatikvah in the very room where the State of Israel was declared in 1948.

Friday, August 31, 2018

To view all the photos from today go to: https://cbstfamilytrip.smugmug.com/Friday-2/.

CBST families with kids wandered through Jerusalem's renovated First Station, rode camels in the Judean desert, and met with Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger, one of the founders of the Roots Jewish-Palestinian co-existence project. The group then cooled off at the pool before heading off to Shabbat services.



Saturday, September 1, 2018

To view all the photos from today go to: https://cbstfamilytrip.smugmug.com/Final-Photos/.

The Families with Children Trip spent their last day in Israel visiting the renewed Israel Museum and reflecting on the journey. The group shared a farewell dinner in Jerusalem before the return trip home.