Tuesday, March 10th 2015 marked the beginning of JCC Krakow Holocaust Survivors Trip to Israel. A group of 37 people, including Survivors, JCC Krakow staff, volunteers and Rabbi Avi Baumol departed Krakow to fly for a week long trip made possible thanks to the funds raised for the Inaugural Ride for the Living. After some heartwarming goodbyes and a short meeting with Robert Desmond, our great friend and JCC Krakow member, who initiated the Ride for the Living, we began our amazing journey.
After reaching Israel, our group was greeted by Kordian, our tour leader as well as a JCC Krakow member, who brought a basket of delicious strawberries as a welcoming gift (you can imagine how difficult it is to get good ones in Poland mid-March)! After making sure that everybody got to the meeting point with their suitcases, we departed to Tiberias, where we'll be based until Thursday morning. Since we checked in at our hotel late at night, everybody went straight to bed in order to get ready for the next day.
The day started with a long climb up (luckily - with a bus!) to the top of the Bahai Gardens in Haifa. Since the route to Israel was long and tiring, some of our seniors have already started feeling the weariness - luckily we are joined by a group of volunteers and staff, who are here to assist the seniors - and by what we've seen today, are doing a great job!
During the visit Haifa Kordian and Rabbi Avi have lectured us on Jewish history and the culture of other nations living in Israel. On our next stop we had a chance to taste Israel while wandering around the shuk (market) in Acco and experience the beauty of the land while driving through Galilee and the Golan Heights. After a long day (and an even longer route!) behind us, we finally returned to Tiberias for a well deserved rest, happy that despite a very busy itinerary, all of the participants are doing great and seem to be enjoying the trip. Stay tuned tomorrow to see as the group gets on a cruise, visits more historic landmarks and departs to Jerusalem for some very special events.