This evening, we were graced with a nice talk by Leah Stern (top right). Leah is a correspondent for the Israel Broadcasting Authority. A native of Miami, she made aliyah to Israel nearly three years ago. Prior to making aliyah she graduated from University of Miami in Journalism. Afterwards she did stints writing for Rolling Stone, Ocean Drive and other magazines in Miami and New York. Upon making aliyah, she worked making pizza, folding laundry and as an intern for the Jerusalem Post. She caught her big break when she answered a casting call for the IBA and was hired as a correspondent. Three days later, the reporter who cut her teeth doing fluffy lifestyle pieces and restaurant reviews found herself in a helmet and a flak jacket reporting from the West Bank in the middle of a firefight. Leah spoke to our trippers about her aliyah experience and what it was like for a former partier to make the transition to living in Israel.

This further exposure to one element of the people of Israel provided a nice counterbalance to our intimate involvement in the land of Israel. Our trippers underwent 2 fairly intense hikes today – one in the hills overlooking the Golan for 3 hours and another in the water, which seemed like it was fun. I missed those hikes because I had to stay back with a couple of trip participants who weren’t feeling so well. I am happy to report that they seem much better now, so no worries.

After our chat with Leah, everyone went to the hotel lobby to terrorize the Hotel staff socialize with their friends. As you can see, everyone is fine. Really.

Allow me to introduce you to my fellow staff members – Gidon on the left who is my co-madrich and Moshe on the right who is our bus driver. All three of us are Moroccan Jews and so, for once, our trippers are getting an intense dose of Mizrachi culture which manifests itself mostly via Moshe’s impressive techno music collection, which he shares with us every day as well as his collection of Israeli Moroccan stand up comedy videos. Gidon provides the translation, which isn’t hard as most of the genre deals with making fun of Ashkenazic Jews and geffilte fish.

This is a photo of the water hike I missed. See? It does look like fun! On Thursday we will spend the day bouncing around Jerusalem. Hopefully no one will be ill.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

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