>4’s VIRTUAL TRIP TO ISRAEL Travel Journal

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THE 4’s VIRTUAL TRIP TO ISRAEL – PART ONE
The 4’s classes left for Israel on an El Al flight from Newark to Tel Aviv on Monday.  After excitedly passing through customs, getting boarding passes, and finding their seats on board their “Virtual Plane” they enjoyed an easy flight complete with a Sesame Street in-flight movie about Tel Aviv.  They were served an on board snack served by parent volunteer flight attendants.

Pilot Carol brought the plane down for a smooth landing and everyone deplaned into the Tel Aviv airport, money in hand,  to buy souvenirs and to take wonderful group pictures in front of the “Welcome to Israel” murals created by our own Sandy Faust (thanks so much).  They had an opportunity to squeeze Israeli oranges to quench their thirst after their long flight.  DuringDrama with Lynne, the children listened to the story Snow in Jerusalem, our PJ Library book of the month.This book is a wonderful story about children from diverse backgrounds who were jointly caring for a cat.  If you would like to borrow this book, we have extra copies in the school.  This book did a great job preparing the children for their Tuesday visit to Jerusalem.

After a good night sleep at their own homes (we always have to reassure them that this is pretend), the children (yeladim) boarded imaginary buses which brought them to Jerusalem, the city of Gold.  There they learned that Jerusalem is both a new and an old city with a very diverse population.  After looking at pictures of the Kotel, the last remaining wall of the Temple, the children had a chance to create walls in a variety of ways: at one station they created lego walls, at another station they made paper bricks which were attached to a mural complete with their individual wishes, and finally they created a collage of the City of Gold.  Our cooking teacher Arlene taught the children how to make hummus by mashing chick peas and adding some garlic and oil.  The children were able to choose pita or carrots to enjoy their home made treat before boarding the bus for their trip back to their pretend hotel.

Equipped with sun hats, sunglasses, and bottles of water, we are off to explore the Negev Desert and go fishing at the beaches of Eilat.  Wait until next week to find out about the rest of our trip, pictures will be posted on Activit-e.

I would also like to thank all of our parent volunteers, the children loved seeing you here, and we could not have done this without you.
                                                                               Shalom, Linda
THE 4’s VIRTUAL TRIP TO ISRAEL – PART TWO
After last Tuesday’s trip to Jerusalem, the children were ready for their long trip to the Southern tip of Israel – the resort city of Eilat.  On the way they stopped at the Dead Sea, noticing that nothing grows or lives in the very salty water.  The children looked at pictures of people slathering the mud from the Dead Sea on their bodies (it is believed to be medicinal) and had a great discussion on MUD.  They were amazed at the idea that nothing sinks in the Dead Sea – you can just lay on the water and read a book (just know that showers are a necessity)!!!  We also discussed the flower farms we passed on the way, and they made wonderful potpourri out of dried roses, dried orange rind and cinnamon sticks, all things that grow in Israel.  While in Eilat we went fishing and actually caught our own fish!!

Next we were onto the Negev Desert where the children visited with a Bedouin.  She invited the children into her tent, the children hesitantly approached her, as they didn’t realize it was Lynne, our Drama teacher.  Lynne told a wonderful story about children lost in the desert, complete with sand storm and dancing followed by a snack of dried grapes (raisins).  Thirsty from the arid climate, children were given water bottles as they boarded the ‘bus’ for the ‘hotel’.  It was another really fun day in Israel!

On Wednesday we rode back to Tel Aviv where we met Cantor Finn who read one of our favorite books, Good Night Moon, in Hebrew while Carol read it, page by page, in English. We discovered that the book pages turn differently and that the writing is different as well, even though the story and pictures remain the same.  

We then joined Miss Melissa for Israeli Dancing – each class performing a different dance!!   After mailing our post cards home, we went into a “café” where parent volunteers had the makings for a Sabra sandwich ready to go.  A Sabra is the nickname for a native born Israeli and it is also the name of the cactus pear; prickly on the outside but sweet on the inside. Everyone enjoyed shmearing the combination of sweet chocolate spread and tart orange marmalade onto a pita. They then added raisins and apple slices to make faces or designs of their choosing. It was some messy fun. Luckily we remembered the wipes!   

Finally we boarded the plane for home, during which we watched a video created by Carol from all of the pictures taken during our trip. The children enjoyed seeing pictures of themselves and all of the fun activities in which they participated!  After we landed we were all very tired but so very excited about this beautiful country Israel. Taking a trip with 45 4-year-olds is exhausting, but very worthwhile.

This wonderful trip could not have happened without the help of the many volunteers!  We would like to thank those who helped at every station, and the fours teachers who kept the children involved and excited about all that was happening.   

A Todah Rabah (thanks!!) to each and everyone.      -Linda
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