Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Taglit Mayanot: Arrival

From December 26, 2012 through January 8, 2013, my husband and I were in Israel with the Mayanot Israel Taglit Birthright program. I have transcribed my journal of the trip here. Enjoy!

December 27, 2012

Hebrew word of the day: Achim (אחים) = Brothers

Our flight out of JFK left on December 26 at 6:00 PM and we flew overnight to Kiev, Ukraine on Aerosvit airlines. It was a long flight that I was lucky enough to sleep most of the way through. Kiev was snowy and cold, as I expect it to be. We exited the plane old-school-style via stairs and took a shuttle bus to the airport terminal. There was only one woman checking tickets for everyone, so it took forever, and standing in line was awkward, since no one in the group really knows each other yet. The flight from Kiev to Tel Aviv was only a few hours, but felt so much longer!

Ben Gurion Airport
We landed in Israel at night and met our Israeli staff. After schnitzel and some quick ice breakers, we hopped on a bus to Tiberias in the Galilee. There are 40 of us in the group plus staff and I'm not sure I will be able to keep everyone's names straight.

So I don't forget, here is the staff:

Hallie, Mayanot 361 Group Leader
Shira, Israeli Group Social Coordinator
Ariel, Tour Guide (the best tour guide in the world)*
Berel, Mayanot 361 Rabbi/Spiritual Advisor
Moran, Security/Medic
Abi, Mayanot Coordinator
Yakov, Bus Driver (replaced by Avi on December 29)*

I can't believe we're actually in Israel!

*notes added post-trip

Read about Day 1 in Israel!