Day 8

 Now we are in the North of Israel, in a territory called Golan Heights.  We start the day with a hike to Banias waterfall, where there is a stream with an overturned war tank from WWII.  It's so pretty here and Israeli's truly love this place because a stream is a rarity in Israel.

Then we visit an old army fortress on a mountain top near the Syrian border.  From the top, you can see the United Nations and behind that you see Syria.  Golan Heights is still technically part of Syria but is mostly occupied by Israel.

Our next stop is an olive oil mill where we not only get to watch how olive oil is made and everything that goes into the production of quality products, we also get an unanticipated political rant from the very intelligent owner!

All this outdoor sightseeing is really keeping me pretty cold most of the time... or freezing rather... if you know me you understand this.  So I'm stoked that the next stop is hot springs at a resort on the Sea of Galilee!  I'm feeling pretty good now!

After dinner we do some activities on Israel and cultural identity that have been organized by our Israeli group members.  We learn more about each other, Israeli history, and the Israel Defense Force in which some of them are still serving.  It is remarkable how much we can learn from each other.  One girl, who is in charge of a squadron consisting of Americans who have moved to Israel to join the IDF, says she feels so much reassurance to see our group of Jewish Americans who are not so religious like her squadron members; she says this makes her feel more comfortable with her Jewish identity because she is not all that religious in her daily life.

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