Updates from Ramah Seminar in Israel!

Our Palmer Ramahniks participating in Ramah Seminar in Israel have sent us these updates!

Here is news from Ben Kane:

After a jam-packed beginning of the week in Jerusalem, Ramah Seminar is off to the South! Shabbat services on Friday evening were at Yemin Moshe, overlooking the Old City, and Saturday morning services were at a multitude of different synagogues in the area, with kids being able to select which one they davened at. Sunday was spent at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. The museum  was incredibly meaningful to all of us as we learned about the history of our people and the horrific events of the Holocaust. It also allowed us who went on Poland Seminar to deepen our comprehension and understanding of the places we visited.

Monday started the two days of Israel Unwrapped, where we were divided into groups and dove deeply into an aspect of Israeli society for two days. Options for IU were Eco-Israel, Government and Politics, Culture, and Social Justice. Throughout these two days, groups visited different sites such as the Knesset, the Supreme Court, water purification factories, locations along the border of Israel, and Ben Yehuda. Each group also learned a lot about their specific track by hearing from experts in the respective fields and truly experiencing Israeli society.

After those two days Seminar headed down South. This week will be spent hiking and exploring the southern region of Israel.

And here is an update from Alyssa Leventhal, describing Etgar week:

This past weekend was Host Shabbat. All of us left the base in Jerusalem and spent Shabbat with a family in Israel. We had a relaxing Shabbat with time to catch up with family and friends. Saturday night, we returned to Jerusalem and reunited with our seminar friends.

Sunday morning, we had amazing limmud sessions where we learned about Judaism, meditation, leadership skills, how to share our personal stories, and so much more. I personally attended the session called “The Bigger Story”. Here we heard from a guest speaker, and we learned how to share our personal experiences and speak in front of large groups of people. This session taught me how to suppress my nerves and push through when telling an engaging story. Sunday afternoon, we had a mini color war. Each bus was given a different color and participated in a series of team building activities. Everyone was engaged and had a great time!

Monday morning we left for etgar! Along with about 90 other seminar participants, I went on desert survival. We spent 4 days hiking, cooking meals, and we even went swimming due to the intense heat. Although the hikes were super challenging and it was very hot, the experience was extremely meaningful overall. I met a lot of new people that I hadn’t had the chance to meet before, and I feel very accomplished. One special moment on etgar was seeing the stars the first night. We spent a lot of time hiking that day, and we were exhausted when we arrived at the camp site. Before we went to bed, we laid down and stargazed, and I felt so happy and lucky to be surrounded by my best friends.

Tonight (Thursday night), we returned to the base in Jerusalem and reunited with the rest of seminar. We had some free time to hang out, share funny etgar stories with each other, and prepare for our beach day tomorrow in Tel Aviv.

And finally, here’s a brief update from Sam Orelowitz on one of the most meaningful moments he’s experienced so far on Seminar:

On Shabbat we had Friday night services at the Kotel which was undoubtedly the most powerful experience of seminar for me. It has been a blessing learning about all aspects of Israel from its entrepreneurial technological investments in Tel Aviv, to the rich history of all religions in Jerusalem, to the social issues occurring today in the West Bank.