PBPL 85 Students in Tel Aviv and Jaffa

Our class’s second full day in Israel brought new places and new experiences! In the morning, we had the chance to walk around Tel Aviv and a lot of our class went to the nearby beach to relax before the day’s activities. After breakfast at the hotel, we departed from Tel Aviv and ventured to Jaffa, an ancient port city. Despite being just a few minutes away from Tel Aviv, Jaffa felt worlds away from the modern Tel Aviv and was our first introduction to the ancient history that lies in the Israeli land. We spent a few hours touring Jaffa and learning about the history surrounding the port and the city. The highlights of the historic tour included the Mahmoudiya Mosque, St. Peter’s Church, the Sea Walls Promenade, and the town’s clock tower. Our class walked through the winding streets of Jaffa and marveled at the beautiful views from the highest point of Jaffa, the archeological pieces in shops, and the ingenuity of filling in corners of buildings so that in ancient times people would be deterred from urinating in the streets. During the tour, we stopped for a delicious lunch at a scenic restaurant and dined family style.

After the tour, we drove about an hour to Jerusalem, the next destination for our class. We checked into our hotel, conveniently located in the center of Jerusalem and quickly got ready for the evening activities, Shabbat services and Shabbat dinner. We walked a few minutes from the hotel and arrived at a school, which is converted into a place of Jewish worship on Shabbat. At the school, we were greeted and kindly welcomed into the service by Chana Mason, a Dartmouth alum. After participating in the service, our group split up to join four different families for Shabbat dinner. At each household, there was lots of discussion and learning about the family’s perspectives and the Jewish tradition of Shabbat dinner. After dinner, we all returned to the hotel to get some sleep before a long day of tours tomorrow!