School life in Israël is very different compared to ours. The students have more freedom, they don’t have study and can leave the school at lunch time. Every month they can choose a new song as bell signal, this month they chose the famous song ‘Roxanne’. The relationship between the teachers and the students is also very different. They call their teachers by their first name and have a lot of phone calls with their teachers. The school looks a bit old and less beautiful than ours but it is very practical. A completely new school building is being built next to the other building. During every break time the students have football matches and I have to say they play quite aggresively, or put differently, with a great competitive spirit. We wanted to play but we did not get the permission to play football, so we watched the games instead.
Monday was Election Day. Everyone from Israel had a day off.
The right-wing Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won exactly half of the seats in the Israeli parliament according to the exit polls together with like-minded parties. It was the third election this year. Our exchange partners were not so happy about it, but it didn’t ruin the vibe.Mien
Today we started the day with the 5th project session. We had to finish our logo and start to make our presentation on PowerPoint. It was a really stressful session and we had a lot of discussions with our group. We had to work efficient and fast, because we didn’t have a lot of time. Some groups made pictures and little clips to illustrate their project in their PowerPoint. After that we had to start writing our text for our presentation tomorrow. Normally we would rehearse all the speeches of each group but we hadn’t enough time to do the rehearsal. After our hard work we got a delicious surprise, we got a lot of pizza and pasta. Looking forward to our final results on Friday! Rania
Today we went to Jaffa. Jaffa is the southern and oldest city of Israel and there are about 46.000 people. We have seen a lot today and there is a lot to talk about but I’m going to pick three symbols that are the essence of Israel and the people in it. First we saw the ‘Suspended orange tree’. It’s a tree in a clay construction and the artist of the art work is Ran Morin. It symbolizes the victory of planting trees in a place where it’s not that simple. Ran chose an
orange tree because it’s the symbol of Jaffa. The second is a bridge where all
zodiac signs are depicted on. The guide told us to put our hand on our zodiac sign, close our eyes, look at the sea and make a wish. Only then our wish would come true. At last we have seen ‘the gate of faith’ it is a very important gate which is on the top of the Peak park, in Jeruzalem there is another gate which is called the gate of Jaffa. It was really fun and I will never forget the trip to Jaffa!
This afternoon we went off to Jerusalem. It was a drive of about 45 minutes. First we went to the Holocaust museum. It was a very special experience and everybody was visibly touched by the guided tour. Although we were there for only an hour and a half we did the whole museum and learned a lot. Then we drove further to the centre of Jerusalem. When we arrived we had a short walk to the church of the Holy Grave. It was not that busy so we could visit the grave of Jesus. Then we walked on to the bazaar wh
ere we had some falafel. We ended the day with a visit to the Western Wall. It was an amazing day.
Today (i.e. Wednesday) we visited the Israeli’s school for the first time, we were surprised by a less strict structure and also the freedom at school. We talked about the differences for a while. Our project sessions started in the library of the school. 2 professional people lead the project and explain the aims very well. I was really surprised by the creativity of the projects. It was nice to see how well we all collaborated with each other, even though there was a language barrier. Looking forward to the results of each project on Friday… Noor
This afternoon we went to the Dead Sea. It was really amazing to be floating in the salty water. The scrub with salt – which the girls especially wanted to test – proved to make the skin softer!
It was a once in a lifetime experience. Sadly it was only for a brief moment, since a long bus drive awaited is back to Tel Aviv.
We also saw the beautiful view of the Jordan mountains on the other side of the sea.
Today was really amazing!!! Nathan
Tuesday- After lunch we went to Masada.
It’s an ancient fort situated on a top of a huge rock in the desert of Israel and it looks out over the Dead Sea. The history of this place is really interesting but long. I will try to give a short version.
The Jews who lived on the mountain were rebels. Because of that the Romans tried to conquer the fort. It took them over 4 months of fighting before they were able to break through the main gate. So when the Jews inside the fort realised that they would be conquered, they had to choose between being captured and to live like a slave for the rest of their lives or to be free but die. So all the Jews killed themselves and their families. When the Romans indeed arrived the next day they found all the weapons and the Jews were dead.
We went to Masada by a cable car. Then we had a guided tour for 1,5 hours. We had the most beautiful views all over the desert and the Dead Sea. We also went into an old water reservoir where we could hide from the hot sun. Masada is world heritage and really worth a visit! – Alix
After the interesting guided tour in The Peres Peace and Innovation Centre, we went to the Tel Aviv port. We had some free time with our partners and the group. When we arrived we enjoyed a beautiful sunset at the seaside. Then we went to an ice cream shop with the whole group and ate some ice creams. We also went for a walk at the beach, along the sea which was very wild because of the wind. To end this lovely day, we went to the indoor food market and got a drink. It was a great evening, we enjoyed it a lot. Robrecht
Today was our first day of project work at the Peres Centre of Peace and Innovation. In the morning we got an introductory session about changes in society. In my group we want
to work about connecting people and in particular we want to think about how to create a social street, so neighbours can get more social contact. Afterwards, we visited the museum itself, which I really liked a lot. A great start of the exchange, if you ask me!