• Exploring the Country - 07/13/2017

    This post first appeared on Israel Campus Roundtable.

    This week, our trip took a break from our internships to travel for our first tiyul in the North. We did a river hike and rafted in the Jordan River, which was a spectacular failure for my raft-mates and me…it took us probably twice as long as it should have to reach the finish line! However, it was more hilarious than frustrating, and helped me bond with some participants who I hadn’t had a chance to talk to yet. That night, we stayed in an absolutely gorgeous hostel above Tiberias overlooking the Kineret – it was hard to believe that view was real. The next day, we got to visit the famous Kibbutz Gesher. While the kibbutz itself was impressive, my most vivid memory is an adorable black and white cat who followed us around during our tour.

    When we got back to Jerusalem, some friends and I made a quick turnaround to Tel Aviv for Laila Lavan, an all-night annual celebration of Tel Aviv culture. It was quite the experience – Rothschild Boulevard was jam-packed, and there were events from live music to fire throwers. After such a crazy night, I decided to take it easy for the weekend and visit family. I love that I have free Shabbats most weekends on Onward, because I actually get to see my cousins and choose the parts of Israel I get to explore. While I loved my experiences on Birthright and my high school teen tour, I appreciate the independence Onward gives its participants.

    Since then, I have been working hard at the Jerusalem Post, often traveling to Tel Aviv for interviews and events. The Maccabiah Games are now in full swing, and I already got to visit the Maccabiah Village in Ramat Gan. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem possible to sneak into the athletes’ spa…oh well. This week I get to shadow reporters at the Knesset, which I am so excited for because it is something I have always been very intrigued by. Time in Israel is passing way, way too quickly!

    Isabel Feinstein, UMass-Amherst ’19, traveled to Israel with her school’s Birthright Israel trip, and is interning this summer with The Jerusalem Post as a Boston Onward Israel 2017 participant.