Shavua tov! We had a great shabbat and a fabulous start to the new week!
The South Area Solomon Schechter Day School/Kehillah Schechter Academy alumni network stretches wide and far! Friday night for dinner, we welcomed 10 of our alumni who currently reside in Israel. They hung out with us throughout the evening and some stayed overnight and joined us for various parts of Shabbat today. It is a special treat when we can see our alumni "all grown up" and it is a true testament to the education they received as students in our school and a clear reflection on the community in which they were raised.
This morning we visited two shuls: some of us davened at Moreshet Yisrael, the Conservative Synagogue at the Fuchsberg Center for Conservative Judaism where we were welcomed with open arms, listed in their program and two our students were honored with opening the Aron Kodesh. The other part of the group davened at The Great Synagogue, which is located just around the corner from the Fuchsberg Center. We all returned to our hotel for Shabbat lunch and then a bit of rest time for everyone, as we are all still catching up on our sleep! Afterwards, some of us went on a walk to the Old City and walked atop one of the outer walls, others went the park to hang out and play some basketball and others hung out around the hotel.
Later in the afternoon, we enjoyed the snacks that everyone bought in the shuk and I am pleased to say that each group fully understood the directions and aside from the foreign apple, we had all of the foods that we wanted to have!
We joined together to end Shabbat with Havdalah in the courtyard and we really began to feel the group coming together as a whole. As a community that rarely gets to celebrate Havdalah together, it is a really special time that just brings everyone together as we formed a circle of friends and shifted from the quiet of Shabbat to the hustle and bustle of the week. On a trip like this, there are of course challenges that emerge as we live together 24/7 in very close and tight accommodations, but the power of the group is taking over and we are seeing some wonderful growth for so many of the kids.
After Havdalah, we wrote some more in our journals and then we headed out to Ben Yehuda Street for a fabulous evening on the town. While there, we ran in to friends and family from various walks of Jewish life, as Ben Yehuda is the place to be Motzei Shabbat in Jerusalem. We gave the kids money for dinner and they enjoyed local cuisine and we were warmly welcomed by the store owners, as along with every other American group in Israel who was on Ben Yehuda Street tonight, we gave a welcome boost to the Israeli economy!
Head of School