What….A….Week!!! This week we split into our 3 electives (Sea-to-Sea Hike, Gadna (Israeli Army) and Volunteering). Each group had an incredible time. They were tested by their own inner & out strength, gained confidence and realized they are much stronger than they thought. They persevered through mud, long hikes, fields, etc. We are now at our Host Family Weekend locations and will come back together on Sunday to finish the final week in Tel Aviv & Jerusalem. This has been such a meaningful experience for everyone and the last week is full of markets, hearing from organizations, shopping, beach time, Shabbat at the Western Wall, a graffiti tour and much more..
Lunch in Akko
Blog Post by Taylor R.
In 10th grade I took an astronomy class. This meant that from 2:15 to 3 o’clock I would sit in my school’s small planetarium learning about the constellations and their mystical origins. I would study each constellation one by one, learning how to utilize ones to find others, and eventually the night sky transformed from being the great unknown to the somewhat familiar. Yesterday, as I walked across the desert with my 90 new friends on our silent night hike I reflected on the ever changing lifestyle I had been leading for the past few weeks. New sights, new beds, new countries, and new emotions had been flooding me and I had not been able to take a breath and find any sort of routine to rely on. However, on this hike I had a chance to silently observe the stars. I slowly started to notice different constellations that I had studied back in the comfort of my home life and it brought everything together. Suddenly I felt strongly connected to my home of Aspen, despite being all the way across the world, and felt my two worlds combining. I then realized that home can be found almost anywhere in the world as long as you’re looking and that’s a pretty cool thing.
Blog post by Michael G.
Why Israel is the real world Wakanda
In the marvel universe, Wakanda is the most technologically advanced country on the planet, though it is situated in third world Africa and is therefore considered to be a poor nation. Most of Wakanda’s wealth comes from a natural resource called Vibranium. This element powers all of Wakanda and is crucial to their way of life, specifically powering their weaponry and medical equipment. However, Wakanda doesn’t share this resource and as a result, engages in almost no conflict and is closed off from the rest of the world. Wakanda is a fictional country, but in many ways, is similar to Israel, though the above information doesn’t exactly pertain to Israel. Let me explain how it does.
Israel is a small country, with a total population of 8.6 million, similar to Colorado. Israel is situated in the Middle East, bordered by the countries of Jordan (a poor, third world country), Syria (a war torn, poor third world country), Egypt (a somewhat poor country), and Lebanon (also a poor, third world country). To an “outsider”, Israel, just like Wakanda might seem like a less advanced country. Yet, Israel is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. To name just a few ground breaking inventions that have come out of this country, Israel invented the pill-cam, drip irrigation, laser projection keyboards, the usb flash drive, viber, Waze, Wix.com, the Iron Dome, and Krav Maga. Out of the nine inventions mentioned above, I personally use 4 on an almost weekly basis. Between Krav Maga and the iron dome, millions of lives have been saved. Furthermore, Israel has never fought an offensive war, and has only waged war against those that attacked first. Seeing a pattern?
In summary, Wakanda is a country situated in the third world, with some of the world’s most advanced technology and engages in conflict only when absolutely necessary. Israel is a country situated in a war torn region, produces some of the world’s best inventions, and only wages war when it has to. And yet, there’s still a part to Wakanda that is omitted in this comparison: Vibranium. While Vibranium is a natural resource native to Wakanda, Israel has almost no valuable natural resources. Israel’s Vibranium, therefore, is the people of Israel. Almost 80% of Israel’s population is Jewish and that culture binds the country together, powering Israel’s technology and innovative prowess. As IST progresses, it becomes more and more apparent that the people of Israel, especially the Jewish population, is the reason why Israel is as amazing as it is now. And IST is an incredible opportunity for us to realize and understand this concept and all of us are incredibly grateful to have this opportunity.
Gadna (Israel Army Experience)