March of the Living Blog
Friday, April 24 - We started off by visiting Mount Herzl on Yom HaAtzmaut, where soldiers, dignitaries and others are buried. There are so many stories there and to hear personal connections through our guides made it all the more heartbreaking. We then met all the thousands of other March of the Living participants in the middle of Jerusalem and marched to the Western Wall in a long, exuberant and cheering procession, with flags waving and everyone singing.
Thursday, April 23 - To begin our day in Jerusalem, we toasted with grape juice and recited the Shehecheyanu blessing for all the first time visitors to Jerusalem. How special to share this moment together after all we have been through - last week in Poland and now in the beauty of Israel.
Wednesday, April 22 - Our second day in Israel is proving that each day is better than the last!
"As soon as I stepped off the plane in Israel, I felt at home. It's incredible how one small country can make anyone and everyone feel like they really belong." - Emily Edwards, Greater Jersey Hudson River Region BBYO
Tuesday, April 21 - We are excited to be in Israel and the teens are doing great! This past week was one of great learning and understanding. Their insights and impressions were really quite profound and I know that the experience has made a difference in all of their lives.
Sunday, April 19 - The teens are doing great and spending Shabbat together has been a wonderful, relaxing time for all of us. Teens led us in services this morning and then we toured the Warsaw Ghetto after lunch. Despite the frigid weather, teens were great and we all learned a lot about Warsaw and the fate of the Jewish people here.
Friday, April 17 - Today, our trip to Majdanek was when the reality of the Holocaust really took on a new meaning for all of us. This extermination camp is right in the center of the town of Lublin and it was the one camp that was not hidden in secrecy or subterfuge. The fact that it is exactly as it was when liberated and can be up and running within 48 hours made the visit all the more horrific.
Thursday, April 16 - We are all on an incredible high after the actual "March" today. It was truly a sight to see everyone draped in Israeli flags, meeting teens from all over the world and reconnecting with friends from other delegations that they knew before. The Jewish pride that we all felt today will surely be a lasting memory for many years to come.
The teens are adapting wonderfully to our first day in Poland. Due to our three separate flights, the itinerary for today was a bit of a departure from the planned schedule, but, everyone did great and by the time we leave Krakow, everyone will have been exposed to the history and culture of the city.
Wednesday, April 15 - Beginning our day very early, we toured the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps, located in the town area of Osweicem, 37 miles west of Krakow. Oswieem was 80% Jewish when Auschwitz became a concentration camp in 1940.
More than 120 teens making up BBYO's National Teen Delegation to the March of the Living are on their way to Poland this evening. The teens have high expectations for their upcoming journey.
March of the Living is finally happening! Today is the day, and our national teen delegation is coming together at the Airport. Elana and Anya are most looking forward to "meeting new people from around the world and connecting on an even deeper level once we arrive in Jerusalem."