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Greenwich teens on eye-opening visit to Israel

Israel Club teens with lone soldiers in Tel Aviv.

Ten members of Greenwich High School’s Israel Club went on an eye-opening leadership mission to Israel that focused on community service, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greenwich.   Among the trip’s highlights, the teens visited Connecticut’s partnership city of Afula where they volunteered at the Emunah Children’s Center with children at risk and spent time with Ethiopian teens at Afula’s Susan and Len Mark Teen Center. They also met children from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union at Yemin Orde, where Greenwich’s Samantha Kallman and her family celebrated her bat mitzvah.
Other trip highlights: A visit to A Better Place, the largest provider of energy to electric cars in the world, where they learned about this groundbreaking technology; a stop at the Ma’ale Film School in Jerusalem, where they saw two short films and met with one of the film directors; a trip to Holon’s Dialogue in Darkness, a museum that simulates what life is like when you are blind; and a visit with lone soldiers in Tel Aviv, who left their families abroad to live in Israel. The teens prepared for Shabbat with a food shopping trip to the Machne Yehuda market in Jerusalem, and welcomed Shabbat at the Western Wall. As part of their leadership development, they also met with Rabbi Joseph Ehrenkranz, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford and founder of the Center for Christian Jewish Understanding at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, who spoke to them about the importance of leaving the world a better place. While in Jerusalem, they had Friday night dinner with Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab-Israeli journalist for the Jerusalem Post who spoke with them about the current situation in the Middle East.

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