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An Impactful Day

Today had an impact on each and everyone of us, and made us all realize what it was like to be truly changed from what we usually know. We started off the day by waking up and taking a quick coffee run to Aroma of course. We then packed up all of our stuff from the hotel rooms and got onto the bus to start our influential and mind opening day. We then went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem. Noam took us through the museum and carefully explained what each room displayed and how it impacted the Jews at the time. The museum was set up in long hallway that showed what happened in chronological order. At the beginning of the museum a video of Jews before the Holocaust was shown, displaying what their identities were before the Holocaust. At the end of the hallway, there is an open window that is showing the “light at the end of the tunnel.” When we finished the museum we were brought outside to show a beautiful vista point of Jerusalem. This symbolizes what happened as a result of the horrific events of the Holocaust, and what will happen in the future if we learn from the past. We then walked briefly through the children’s memorial at the museum. We all went back into the bus, and took another coffee break to lighten the mood after a tough morning. Noam then brought us to a Palestinian-Jewish school, called Yad b'Yad . This school was an eyeopening experience, because it showed us conflict, and ways to try to overcome the clashing religions. We were first shown a Kindergarten classroom that had Arab and Jewish children coexisting together. They were all adorable and sang a few songs in Arabic. We then were shown a first grade class that was set aflame and vandalized a few years ago. The people leading the tour told us about the frightening times when the people around Jerusalem did not believe in what the school was trying to accomplish, and how they would take extreme measures to stop the school from functioning. They also told us about they got more support and awareness from other people. We finally finished our visit with talking to a 14 year old girl named Jude that was an Arab who has attended the school for one year. She really changed our views on Arab people and broke some of the stereotypes that we previously had. After the school, we were all astonished about how much our point of view was changed. We then spent an hour at the marketplace purchasing dried fruits and more Israeli foods. After the long and emotionally draining day we went back into the van and left Jerusalem to go to Tel Aviv. We then checked into our hotel and got ready for our interesting dinner. We drove around 10 minutes to go to a restaurant called Blackout. At the restaurant you eat in pitch black rooms, where the waiters are blind or visually impaired. This experience was unique, because we all realized how much we bonded as a result of losing sight inside the restaurant. We had to rely on one another to learn how to eat with a fork, and we also learned how to be adventurous and try new things. Overall, we also learned something by taking something away that we usually take for granted. We then went back to the hotel to relax and get prepared for another great day ahead tomorrow. We were all greatly impacted and changed as a result of the three eye-opening experiences that we shared together, and there are no words that can truly show how extraordinary each place was.

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