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May 11th: Blog from Hannah K. and Isaac

The bloggers for Shabbat were Hannah K. and Isaac:

Today, we woke up at 8:30, being that it was Shabbat, so we were able to get a couple extra hours of sleep. After Friday’s late night, we headed right downstairs to breakfast and enjoyed the first meal of our day. When we were all done with breakfast, our teachers gave us options of what synagogues to pray in. There were several orthodox synagogues, a Chabad, and a conservative synagogue.¬†Some chose the conservative synagogue and joined a beautiful service in the middle of Jerusalem. Others went to a traditional Sephardic orthodox service, where they were able to have a new experience since many of us are Ashkenazi. One group went to a Chabad synagogue with a lovely service, and many friendly people. Another group went to an orthodox synagogue called Kol Rina in Nachlaot, which is known for the beautiful singing inspired by Carlebach. They then were able to walk around the gorgeous neighborhood and talk to some of the residents. After that, all of the groups walked back to the hotel, ate lunch, and we were given a couple hours of free time so we could take some time to ourselves to relax after a long service. Once our break was over, we walked over to a park where we stayed for about 3 hours. We hung out, played sports, had fun, and relaxed. After our enjoyable time at the park, we headed back to our hotel for another break so that we could shower and get ready for dinner. Shortly after we finished dinner, we headed over to Ben Yehuda street, a street filled with shops. We were able to split into groups of four, and walk around while buying gifts and snacks from the shops around us. This was also an opportunity for students to meet up with family and friends living in Jerusalem. It was overall a super great, relaxing, and fun day.

Photos here! Jerusalem!