Just before leaving NYC, we paid a visit to the popular High Line Park, an old railway converted into a boardwalk. The boardwalk is surrounded by shops and restaurants, including the famous Chelsea Market, home to a chef some of are Israelis were familiar with.
Arriving at Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, we were welcomed by a delicious potluck dinner prepared by our host families, which led us into one of the most exciting events of the Mifgash – Simchat Torah Celebration at Beth El. For the past decade, HiBuR groups have been the heart and soul of this celebration, and this year wasn’t any different. Our teens danced, sang, and two Israelis teens – Hila and Guy, were honored with reading from the Torah scroll which has been rolled out around the sanctuary. This year, Beth El had the privilege of hosting, in addition to the HiBuR group, a delegation of educators from Haifa, accompanied by their hosts from the CJP.
On Monday, the Israeli group received a traditional New England welcome. They started the day by having a hearty colonial breakfast at the historic Wayside Inn, the oldest running inn in the US, operating since 1716. The teens also had the chance to visit the inn’s grist mill, a true New England landmark.
The group continued with a tour in the town of Concord, where they traced the origins of the American Revolutionary War. Following the tour, our teens joined the Boston Gleaners, an organization that helps direct extra produce from farms to people in need. The Israeli teens and their teachers pulled up their sleeves and harvested a great amount of squash, which will be donated to different local food pantries and soup kitchens.
For the evening, the teens joined their American peers for their Hebrew School, at two of our partner synagogues – Kerem Shalom in Concord, and Beth El in Sudbury. The teens met up with both younger and older American students, and engaged in a variety of educational activities with them.
On Tuesday, the Israeli teens will be going to school with their hosts, and will get to experience an American high school. In the afternoon, the teens will explore Walden Pond and it’s rich history, will visit two more religious school, and will enjoy a very special treat in the evening…
The breakfast was so good! We ate waffles, eggs and potatoes. and the view there was beautiful.
– Mika N
Yesterday was long… I had much fun with Ethan and his family and I didn’t get to stay too long on simchat torah. Today was fun… Picking up squashes was nice and our activity with the Americans was good. So was the breakfast.
– Nadav C
Yesterday we walked on the High Line in the meatpacking district. The High Line used to be an elevated subway, and the tracks are still visible. It was also fascinating because that neighborhood used to be where meat was packaged and distributed, whereas today it is a very trendy neighborhood with restaurants and shops. We then had lunch and shopped in Chelsea Market before a five hour bus ride back to Massachusetts. Finally, back at Beth El, we had a potluck and a celebration for Simchat Torah. Both Israeli and American students read from the Torah, and then we all danced. It was very cool to be able to expose the Israelis to what one aspect of American Reform Judaism looks like. Overall, Sunday was the perfect end to the weekend, and I am very excited for what is planned for the coming week!
– Sofia R
Yesterday was fun because we got to go to Chelsea market which I have never been before and it was a cool experience. Plus playing cards on the bus was really fun too.
– Ethan G
Yesterday was a fun day! We had a great walk on the highline! And a amazing adventure at Chelsea market!
– Kristina D