Saturday, January 4, 2014


            A significant and important aspect of a service learning trip is the act of reflection.  As we reflect on the day today, three topics are outstanding.  First, is the topic of identity, which was discussed as a group during our afternoon reflection time.  Second, is the powerful experience of a community meeting; and third, is Shabbat dinner, which ended our eventful day with a beautiful dinner graciously prepared by our house host, Avi Cohen.
            Among the multitude of the complexities we faced in Israel was the idea or concept of identity.  In the United States, individuality is held in high regard.  We are taught, as Americans, to feel unique and special.  However, in Israel, group orientation seems to be a more favorable quality to possess when compared to the individualism of America.  True to our upbringing, each team member expressed a unique reaction to their individual identity as they reflected on the week thus far.
            To end the day, our hosts in Arad prepared a Shabbat dinner for our group.  Avi Cohen represents a group within the Jewish community with their own set of traditions.  As a Moroccan Jew, he prepared Moroccan food like cuscus, mujadara, roasted eggplant, and baba ghanous.  In addition to the incredible food, we had the opportunity to experience the traditional prayers and rituals of the Shabbat dinner.  This amazing encounter gave us a glimpse of Jewish culture that we will remember forever.

This blog was written by Sarah and Kylen.

1 comment:

  1. Your description sounds like a beautiful, unique and memorable Shabbat dinner. Right now, our nation is having similar discussions on group vs individual rights and responsibilities. Your trip sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing. Susan