A family is a group of unique individuals who are bonded together through kinship and love. As Jews, we are the largest, oldest, most diverse and dispersed family in the world. We are a collective whole. The trip to Israel as a congregational family strengthens the ties of OVS members that, even after a century of existence, is stronger than ever. The reason is simple: family is forever.
- The trip to Israel proved that our extended family in the Jewish communities around the world is vitally important. We spent one day in our 18-year partner region of Yokneam-Meggido and viewed the Jezrael Valley from the hilltop of this ancient village.
Elementary students from the nearby school sang for us and showed us how they're learning agriculture in the school's garden.
The people of Yokneam not only took us into their community, but they welcomed us with open arms into their homes as well. We were invited to spend an evening in different homes for a taste of their Israeli lifestyle.
- The night was topped off with a huge celebration at Nahal Keret Park in Yokneam, where everyone enjoyed desserts, schmoozing, singing kids and a spectacular performance of HaTikva at the end of the night.
- It was a very emotional moment we all shared as we sang HaTikvah together. Everywhere you looked, tears welled up and rolled down cheeks as we held hands and felt the pride of our Jewish identity fill the air.
There were other events that took us around Tel Aviv including a visit to Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People and viewing the architecture of the city. We had cooking classes at the homes of local residents of Kibbutz Galuyot and then joined together to enjoy the food we cooked.
- The evening of our first day of touring commenced with a pool-side happy hour at the Mamilla Hotel with the beautiful tunes of Einat Sarouf.