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Central Celebrates 180th Anniversary in Israel

Posted September 4, 2019

Central’s Great, BIG, Multi-Generational 10x Chai Trip to Israel Returns Home

In late August, more than 130 congregants celebrated Central Synagogue’s 180th anniversary with Rabbi Angela W. Buchdahl and other members of clergy and Central staff on a wonderfully joyous and educational trip to Israel. Below please find a few of the places they visited during this meaningful community trip.

Day 1: August 20, 2019
Central’s Great, BIG, Multi-Generational 10x Chai Trip to Israel kicked off on August 20 with a visit to an art museum in Caesarea. The group also enjoyed a warm welcome by the local Reform congregation Tefilat Ha’adam.

Day 2: August 21, 2019
The trip continued with a Jeep tour of the Golan Heights, a visit to the Tel Dan Nature reserve, and time rafting on the Jordan River.

Day 3: August 22, 2019
The “Outdoor Track” group enjoyed a morning of Krav Maga, followed by a scenic bike ride through Jaffa Port to Tel Aviv along the Mediterranean Sea. The group ended the day with a visit to Nachalat Benyamin alongside Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel) and Kabbalat Shabbat services on the beach in Tel Aviv.

Day 4: August 23, 2019
The group visited Tzipori National Park and a 500 CE and ended the day with a dramatic sunset.

Day 5: August 24, 2019:
On Shabbat, the group cooked dinner at a beautiful vineyard in the Golan. They enjoyed Israeli dancing and live music.

Day 6: August 25, 2019
Central said, “l’hitraot” to Tel Aviv and embarked on another track day.

In Ramallah, the first track met with the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, visited a Palestinian refugee camp, and met with the Mayor of the Binyamin Regional Council in a Jewish settlement in the Judean Hills.

The second track took a trip back to the time of the Bible and the Maccabees. They herded sheep and goats, ground spices, excavated 2,000-year-old caves, and planted oak trees.

Day 7: August 26, 2019
The morning started in Jerusalem with a b’nei mitzvah service for nearly 20 students at Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion. Then, the group explored the old city and journeyed through more than 3,000 years of our history while visiting the City of David, Western Wall Tunnels, and Cardo. They also had the opportunity to pray at the Kotel.

Day 8: August 27, 2019
The group journeyed to Masada. Atop this sprawling plateau, King Herod built a fortress in the last century B.C. The remains symbolize the determination and heroism of the Jewish people long after Roman rule.

Continuing 1,400 feet below sea level to the Dead Sea, the group lathered up in mineral-rich mud, floated on top of the turquoise waters, and soaked up the beautiful Israeli sun.
They finished the day with a visit to the Israel Museum followed by the Tower of David Light.

Day 9: August 28, 2019
Upon leaving Israel, Rabbi Lori Koffman said, “As we reflect on the challenges and miracles of the past and present here in this land, we leave our pilgrimage to Israel full of gratitude for each other, the people we encountered, and those who now live in our shared memory.”

Visit Central’s Facebook page to see all the photos from the trip.