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Israel Pt 1: Dead Sea, Masada, and Yad Vashem

This summer I had the opportunity to visit Israel for a ten day seminar at Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center. I wrote a general blog post about my experiences studying the Holocaust HERE, but now it's time to share all the pictures! 

After a 10 1/2 hour flight, Tel Aviv was a sight for sore eyes!

After the taxi ride from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, (during which I experienced nerve racking driving!) I made some much needed coffee and took a nap before dinner.  

The next day our group headed to Masada, Qumran Caves, and the Dead Sea. As we crossed into the West Bank, we saw lots of Palestinian cars recognizable by their white license plates while Israeli cars have yellow. Our guide told us this is one of the only places without conflict where Israelis and Palestinians share the road. 

Waiting for the cable car to take us up to Masada ....  

Standing in the ruins of the ancient fortress of Masada which was built around 30 B.C. by Herod the Great  ... 

Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered  ...  

Stepping into the Dead Sea was a crazy feeling. It makes your skin feel so smooth and leaves a mineral residue everywhere

I met people from Uganda, Tanzania, Serbia, Bosnia, Norway, Nepal, and Argentina. Our group was very international which was so cool! 

First day of the seminar at Yad Vashem ... 

Everything about the Holocaust museum, including the architecture, is so intentional. The museum recreates the Warsaw Ghetto with cobblestone streets, lamp posts, and benches from early 20th century Poland. Along with original letters from the hidden archives of the Warsaw Ghetto, they also have one of the metal boxes which contained a portion of the archive.  

 A Righteous Among Nations tree planted for Oskar Schindler ...  

We had a tour around Yad Vashem to see different memorials. Not far from the museum is the Warsaw Ghetto Square—Wall of Remembrance.

"The Wall of Remembrance consists of two sculptures set in a wall of red bricks, which symbolize the ghetto walls. In the center of the first sculpture, entitled 'The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising', stands the leader of the uprising, Mordechai Anielewicz. The second sculpture, entitled 'The Last March', depicts the mass deportation of the Jews to the death camps."

IDF soldiers who were also there for seminars/tours ...  

To be continued!



  1. Wow, that looks like an incredible experience! xx

  2. What an amazing experience! I want to go to Israel so bad! Especially now that we've found out my adopted cousin is Jewish!