Today we had a later start and enjoyed a leisurely morning. We departed around 10:00 and made our way south through Tiberius. First stop was the Jordan River Valley, a facility that provides care and respite to children suffering from chronic health conditions (exs: juvenile diabetes, cancer and cerebral palsy). It’s a very modern facility with all kinds of features like an adaptive swimming pool, 275 seat theater, gym, zip line and a photo studio. Each group of kids comes for a week of fun. An impressive feature is that Palestinians children from the Gaza Strip are also invited. One of the volunteer served as our tour guide and we were served a delicious lunch. Many volunteers
contribute including 13 young people doing their year of service before going into the military.
Next, we continued south to Kinneret Cemetary. There we read poetry from Rachel, one of the people buried there. She had a very sad life, died young and never got to live by the Kinneret or have children as she had dreamed. We learned about the pioneers and their three values; working the land, military defense and the Hebrew language.
The Kinneret Cemetary is on the south end of the Kinneret (Gallilee) in a beautiful site. The Golan Heights and Syria are across and Jordan is just off to the South. When we left, we traveled along the west side of the Jordan River, right next to the Jordanian border and could see farms in Jordan on the other side of the river. It is really amazing how close all these borders are.
We continued south through the West Bank and the Judean Desert, passed by the Dead Sea, and turned west towards Jerusalem. We passed through the tunnel while listening to “Yerushalayim shel Zahav.” And suddenly, there in front of us . . .Jerusalem!
We stopped at Mt. Scopus to take in the view and did the Shehechiyanu Service. Then drove into the city and checked into the Mount Zion hotel. Some gathered for dinner at Rabbi Spilker’s favorite restaurant, Caffit. We look forward to exploring Jerusalem over the next few days!

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