On February 14, members from two JRF congregations in New England set out on a joint trip to Israel. The trip ends on February 25. Each congregation has set up a blog to report on the trip: Temple Hillel Bnai Torah from Newton, Massachusetts and Agudas Achim from Atleboro, Massachusetts.
Here is a part of the most recent entry in the Hillel Bnai Torah blog:
We started Thursday morning with prayers and a hike to the Machtesh, the biggest crater in Israel. Then we headed even further south to Kibbutz Keturah, where Tammy and Craig Schneider lived in the '80s. We traded the four Schneiders for the five books of Moses for the weekend--a pretty good trade all around, because the Schneiders got to stay for a bat mitzvah that brought together many of their old friends, and the rest of us had a Torah to use for Shabbat. The rest of us went on almost as far south as we could go, to Kibbutz Eilot, about five minutes from Eilat and the Red Sea. (It's not.) We had Kabbalat Shabbat under the stars at the kibbutz and Shachrit under the morning son, in view of the sea and the mountains and the desert. So much history and so many ghosts! How to express to you how powerful it is to have services where it happened? Or to turn to Jerusalem for the Amidah and it's not to the East?