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May 30, 2009 - Day 5 - Jerusalem

To get to Jerusalem from the Dead Sea you have to make a 3500 foot climb in elevation which explains why from any direction you always “go up” to Jerusalem. Pilgrims from all over the world make trips to Jerusalem and the city is set on a hill that is lower than all the other hills around it. The lowness of the city makes it impossible to see the city from a great distance. Pilgrims would anticipate the first glimpse of the city and the excitement would build and build until finally the city comes into view. That was our experience as we...

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Apr 23, 2009 - Jerusalem & Bethlehem

Today we arrived at Ashdod, in Israel. Last night I was notified that I had been "randomly" selected for an interview with Isrial immigration at 8 am today. I was getting ready and they started calling my name over the ships PA at 7:30 for me to report to the purser's desk. When I got there, they were grilling one of the other "randomly" selected passengers. I was actually looking forward to hearing what they were after. Anyway it was my turn and they asked for my passport. They saw I had other passports and wanted to know why. Well I came...

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Apr 12, 2009 - Next Year in Jerusalem

After a nice, relaxing trip to Cyprus, I was ready to dive back in the deep end that is Israel. Excited to live out every Jew’s dream, I headed to the Holy Land to celebrate Passover. The holiday helps us commemorate our ancestors’ exodus from Egypt, and our release from slavery. It is celebrated over the course of a traditional dinner, known as a “Seder,” which ends with the words “next year in Jerusalem.” This was my year. My flight arrived quite late at night, and thankfully I found a shuttle that took me right into the Old City of...

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Apr 2, 2009 - Israel: Getting to Know the Holy Land

I returned from Argentina after a red eye flight that landed at 6am, and had a full day in New York City before my departure that evening. My family was able to meet up with me, and I enjoyed seeing my Mom, grandma, and brother at cousin Jessica’s place. The twins, Isa and Camilla, are getting so big- they’re walking around, dancing, and even pointing to the right body parts when a song calls them out. We had a great day full of good food and even better company, and with my batteries recharged, I was ready to hit the road again. This time,...

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Mar 31, 2009 - Last Trip Entry - Old Jerusalem

Well friends, this is the last entry in our travel log since tomorrow morning we check out of the Olive Tree Hotel before our journey to the Garden Tomb where we'll celebrate Holy Communion before lunch and then have a free afternoon. Half of our group won't head for Tel Aviv tomorrow...instead, their trip continues on to Cairo and a visit to the pyramids of Egypt! Someone else will have to take over this blog since Mrs. Dawn is heading home tomorrow! Today was another day we will never forget. Mike led us through an extensive tour of Old...

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Mar 29, 2009 - Important Details from Ein Gedi Visit / Late March In Israel - Our 4th Week

Notes for this entry - this is not a finished entry, so please excuse its sketchiness if you're reading in this form First, a Section on the People We Met in Ein Gedi - The 3 French-Speaking Women - Jeannine Abselem from Paris, Jeanine from Switzerland, and Danielle Sbarro and her mari from Paris Note: Then tell the following in reversed order of printing below so days follow time sequentially. Sunday - Museum of the Seam / Tomb of Prophet Samuel, Sheep, Mahane Yehuda Saturday - Bethlehem and Wallaja - Saleh and his Family Bethlehem,...

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Mar 28, 2009 - Jerusalem the Golden

What a great day! Here are the highlights of what we did and saw today: - Left our hotel in Tiberias - destination, Jerusalem - Passed the border of Jordan and saw the Jordanian flag just to the east - Saw Mt. Gilboa, site of the Philistine battle with the Israelites where King Saul "became hopeless" as our guide, Mike, likes to say, and fell on his sword to kill himself - Visited Beit She'an, which was the only Roman Decapolis (one of 10 major cities of Rome) west of the Jordan River. Our walking tour allowed us to see so many...

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Mar 22, 2009 - Our Second and Third Weeks in Israel

Sunday, March 8, through Sunday, March 22 It's now March 22 and we've had another two weeks in Israel! Yesterday, I spent a few hours relating the stories of that period and then lost all the material when the website host alerted me my session had timed out, without even giving me a heads-up to save my text. Aargh! An unexpected stress of traveling - like losing your handwritten journal. Well at least I have some memory of what I typed and can repeat the effort of relating our tales. The Second Week - Still Exploring Jerusalem, with the...

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Mar 8, 2009 - At the End of Our First Week of Travel

Greetings from Jerusalem!! Today is Sunday and it has been a full week since our arrival here! First, An Introduction: This is the first chance we've had to get a travel website going! We'd like to tell our story as we go for our relatives and friends, and to keep a journal for our own archives. So please enjoy as we relate a few stories from our Travels with Piccolo Sam in Israel and Europe. This whole trip plan started when Sam was born and Rick started to contemplate taking some time off work to spend with his new family. Who would have...

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Mar 7, 2009 - Day 09, 10 & 11 - Jerusalem

We are sorry for not communicating for a while. In the past few days we did not have internet connection. Nevertheless, our News Crews did not stop taking beautilful pictures and write detailed reports for you all. Enjoy! As our grade drove up the hills of Jerusalem Friday afternoon, I noticed how almost everyone had a paper in their hands anxiously waiting to get a pen so they could write a note to G-d, and later put it in the Western Wall. Once we arrived at the Cotel (wailing/western wall) yard, we were given Shabbat candles to light,...

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Mar 5, 2009 - Jerusalem - Day 1

Our trip to Jerusalem was magical for many reasons. First, it was the first time that all of the NCJHS tenth graders involved in the EIEP-Tichon Hadash, SIEP-Ironi Tet and SIEP-Gymnasia Herzliah programs came together while in Israel. All ninety-plus student and teachers gathered at the Tayelet lookout point above Jerusalem for hugs, snacks and a very special Shechechianu. We broke into four groups to meet with our professional tour guides where we learned about the history and topography of modern and ancient Jerusalem, and the Temple...

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Feb 5, 2009 - Last day in Jerusalem

Last day is Jerusalem Our last day in Jerusalem began with a stop to an ATM that speaks English and pays out in dollars. After that we headed for the Church of the visitation, where John the Baptist’s parents Elizabeth and Zechariah lived. This is one of the traditional sites of where Mary came when she became pregnant with Jesus. Here Lexie read for us the story of Mary and Elizabeth meeting. From here we went to the Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem. It was an emotional reminder and realization of what happened to six million Jews had the...

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