Anthem #43: Israel

We arrived in Israel after twelve hours of flying and a five hour stopover in Turkey. When we first got off the plane in Tel Aviv, there was a news station filming us as we walked through the airport. It was Channel 2 news, one of the biggest news stations in Israel. They were doing a story on us that they plan to show on Independence Day (May 12).  We were also greeted by a friend named Ofira, who organized our entire time in Israel and planned an amazing anthem singing event along with her sister, Merav and her friend Ady!

It was the first time that we ever went straight out of the airport and onto a train.  We took the train up to Northern Israel, close to the Lebanon border.  There we stayed in a town called Shavei Tziyon and we were hosted by three different families and all of their houses were very nice. We were also hosted for three dinners and lunches at different houses. Everyone in the village was so kind and friendly. The town was right on the beach and we had lots of fun with the locals.

We also got to experience a Passover dinner for the very first time. It was fun and interesting. They had games for the children and lots of food, rituals and singing. Here is a picture below:

In Israel, once you are done high school, you have to serve in the Army (2.5 years for girls and 3 years for boys). Ofira was actually a tank driver instructor and she told us stories of her experiences in the army. We saw lots of soldiers with guns everywhere, but we found that the part of the country we were in was very peaceful.

Israel is a very important place for lots of different religions. However, we saw lots of peaceful people, including Jewish people and Arab people, talking and interacting together. When we were at the Israeli-Lebanon border, we met some young Arab children and they sang for us.  We also went inside a beautiful grotto where we met lots of kids from many different places.

We did not get to see much of the country but hope to go back to see more one day!

Here is the anthem singing below. It was amazing and very emotional because of all the different people that did so much work to make it happen and how excited everyone was to be there. We wanted to say thank you to everyone who helped organize the event and all the teenagers who sold tickets to raise $3000 for SOS!

Keep reading and watching as we head to the Ukraine next!

Bowen