Enjoy this “report from the field” from Elana Prezant, JCCNNJ’s Supervisor of Open Hearts Open Homes on the group’s Shabbat weekend together.
On Friday, our Open Hearts Open Homes group said, “Goodbye” to Camp Kimama and drove north to Nahariya. There, we traveled on speed boats around the Mediterranean. It turns out that Israel has some islands – what a surprise! The boat ride was a lot of fun and everybody enjoyed the crystal blue water, the breeze in our hair and seeing the country shoreline from the water.
Afterwards, we drove to Acco, where we got ready for Shabbat in special clothing. The girls lit Shabbat candles together; for some of them, it was their very first time participating in this Jewish ritual. One boy made Kiddish for us and another did the blessing over the challah. It was so nice to be together in this way and represented one of the group’s very special moments of this entire experience.
That night, the tired group needed some downtime so we had a quiet evening. The next morning, Ravit, our Federation of Northern NJ representative, guided us on a walking tour of the old city in Acco where we climbed the walls, saw the port and walked around the market. We learned the story and the history of Acco and how the Arab-Jewish community lives together today.
The rest of the day was quiet, restful with an evening of games. It was perfect. Just what everyone needed.