On the last full day of the Israel trip, the students started their day at Kibbutz Misgav Am. They visited the Naot Factory, had lunch with Haeyl Azam at his Druze Village in Daliyat El-Carmel, and went to Atlit before having their final wrap-up meeting at the end of the trip.

Kibbutz_Mizgav_Am_2015When the students got to Kibbutz Misgav Am, they were shown the view of Lebanon from the most northern point of Israel. From the deck at Misgav Am, the students could see Lebanon and Metula, and the extremely small distance between the two. While viewing this area, the students heard from their tour guide, Ronen Malik, about his experience in the Second Lebanon War. This story not only illustrated the great power of IDF soldiers, but it also showed how close Israeli civilians live to war. This made many of the students understand how Israelis live—always on the edge.

After seeing the spectacular view from Kibbutz Misgav Am, the students went to the Naot factory. Naot is an Israeli sandal company whose factory is located in the north of Israel. The students were excited to see where these popular shoes are made.Naot_Logo


After building up an appetite from shopping, the students had lunch with Haeyl Azam at his Druze Village in Daliyat El-Carmel. Azam explained parts of the Druze religion, which is a secret religion, and its culture. He also touched on the Druze in the IDF. The students were particularly interested in this topic because of how much the Druze are praised for their service in the army. Part of the Druze culture is being loyal to the country in which they live; thus, the Druze are key supporters of the state of Israel, in and out of the military.

Photo Credit: Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am

To end their day, the students went to Atlit, a detention camp where people were sent after trying to come to Israel during the British Mandate. The students were shown around a boat, which was a replica of the kinds of boats that were used by the Jews seeking refuge in their homeland. This boat told the tale of the people who were on the boats, showing what their lives might have been like while they were on the boats. The area surrounding the replica boat was used to hold hundreds of barracks. The students were shocked, imagining what it must have been like to have survived the Holocaust, only to be put back into barracks, just feet away from freedom in their homeland.

This trip had a profound impact on the students, all of whom took away things that help them gain a new appreciation for Israel and the challenges that the nation and the people face on a daily basis.


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