On Sunday, July 12th 24 Houston women, along with over 50 other women from Denver and Dallas, began an exciting ten day journey to Israel. The women were participants in the first ASCENT mission to Israel, joining Lori Palatnik and the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Program. This is a unique opportunity to spend time touring, bonding, and studying together. Women attending the mission will spend time discussing the political situation, historical connections, Jewish values, and then reflecting on each from the perspective of a Jewish Woman in the twenty-first century.
Excitement and anticipation filled JFK airport as the women boarded their El Al flight, the first step on this exceptional journey. Thanks to ambien, many women were able to sleep despite the chattering birthright students on the flight. At the airport, the women, were met by Lori and her wonderful staff. They boarded buses and headed to Tiberias, in North Israel. After a refreshing swim in the Kinneret river, women were given opening instructions ("If you are not on the bus at the time it says it is leaving, you will be left behind...and you will pay for a taxi to join us at the next stop" Ken Spiro, our guide, says we are on the only Jewish group that runs on time.) and a class on Gossip, Lies and Lessons. We headed to our new favorite restaurant, Decks. It is a spectacular place on a pier overlooking the Kinneret. The women loved it! The food was great, the view magnificent, as the women spontaneously began to dance. We were treated to a bonus cruise on the Kinneret, courtesy of Decks. What an amazing start!
Zehava, Michal, and Faige