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First full day with ECE-RJ was filled with sensory explosions

First full day with ECE-RJ was filled with sensory explosions
19 Feb 2018 by Susie Weiner


With our humorous and very knowledgeable guide Elli we explored Neve Tzedek.  As a small group, we heard fascinating stories about how Neve Tzedek looked before Israel was a state.  This early morning walk and tour helped set the tone and historical relevance of the week ahead.  When we arrived at Independence Hall where the official declaration of the state of Israel was held in 1948, I bumped into a group of teachers from my local Detroit Hillel Day School.    It was a great reminder how small Israel is.


During our free time for lunch, in the Shuk HaCarmel, my group saw some huge pomegranates, delicious halva and sumptuous spices.  I purchased all my gifts for my family that day.  DONE.


After lunch we took a Graffiti tour.  I have done something like this in South Beach Florida on a vacation and it was very cool to compare cultures, murals, and graffiti between Florida and Israel.  The guide was a local artist who had so much knowledge to share and we even got to paint on a mural outside his studio. 


We ended the day with an interactive cooking activity.  My group made shaksahuka, which is one of my favorite Israeli meals.  The chefs who were helping us gave us a glimpse into the gruff- cocky Israeli male stereotype.  As preschool directors, we called his bluff and found he was a teddy bear inside.  We worked as a team and ate like Queens Esther.  The group of 40 was already jelling and forming great connections.  That was only day one, it was awesome!


Susie Weiner Temple Beth El ECC Director Bloomfield Hills, MI