Today we visited Har Herzl and the Yad Vashem museum. We had closing ceremonies at the international shabbaton and then we drove to har herzl.
At Har Herzl we visited Theodor Herzls grave and learned about modern Zionism and it's relationship to Israel today. We learned about Herzls idea of Judenstaat, or the Jewish state and how Herzls ideas were not accepted in the 1890's. Next we visited graves of soldiers and important political figures in Israels history. Many streets were closed off due to Prime Minister Netanyahu's brothers memorial ceremony later tonight. Har Herzl was decorated in beautiful flowers and trees. When we looked off the railing at multiple points we could see Jerusalem. Also, I found it interesting that all of the graves were the same size to demonstrate equality.
We had lunch and walked to Yad Vashem. We met our tour guide and started our tour on the interior of the museum. We learned about mostly polish Jews in chronological order, starting with daily life before the war. I found it interesting that she chose to start the tour with information before the war started because that is something we have not learned in school. The museum was interactive with multiple videos of the holocaust and interviews with survivors. The artifacts, replicas and interesting architecture made the museum interesting to follow along with. The most emotional part of the museum was the children's memorial which brought our cohort closer together by supporting each other.
Next we drove two hours north to Karmiel for opening ceremonies of community week. It was amazing being reunited with our Israeli friends/family. I was so excited to meet my host family and I had a great night at her house. All of the fellows were so excited to shower, have wifi and do laundry.
- Maya Klapper