Cohort 11

The 11th cohort of travelers headed to Israel this year on May 14. Eleven JCCSF staff members and two from the Peninsula JCC comprise the group, along with leader Jhos Singer.

The annual seminar is funded by a generous grant from the Sanford and Linda Gallanter Foundation, and allows JCCSF staffers an unprecedented opportunity to experience the beauty and complexity of Israel first-hand. Check in daily to follow along with this cohort's journey.

Cheesecake Dusted in Olive Powder

Day 12: May 27, 2017

By Jhos Singer
Jerusalem is typified by the soft luster of her limestone walls—hand polished with blood, sweat and tears. The streets set upon layer upon layer of culture, blood and story, and the endless stream of prayers that whine and wail through the air. On Shabbat Jerusalem is mostly quiet...[Read More]


Day 11: May 26, 2017

By Vanessa Bachik
As our entered the grand and powerful Yitzhak Rabin Center I was immediately confronted with a wealth of information. This national institute is truly an educational center: from all angles, corners, walls and crevices there are endless opportunities to engage in not only the history of Rabin's life, but also the narrative of the formation of Israel...[Read More]

Group Shot

Day 10: May 25, 2017

By Lily Rea
With our trip somehow nearing its end, it feels natural to reflect back on the trip as a whole. Hearing from Doron Zabari today about how he thinks about storytelling and the process he uses to make his films, struck me as an incredible frame for our experiences on this trip...[Read More]

Haifa Girls Group

Day 9: May 24, 2017

By Kim Buchanan
Tikun Olam (Mending the World)
Cohert 11 said "L'Hitraot" to the Sea of Galilee this morning, heading west to the beautiful Mediterranean town of Haifa. I learned that Haifa accommodates co-existing Jewish, Muslim and various Christian/Arab groups...[Read More]

Biking through Hulla

Day 8: May 23, 2017

By Claudia Berman
This trip is amazing...for all the many amazing sights we've seen, but also how much the leaders bring it back to our personal experiences. It has been especially meaningful due to the fabulous communication of speakers each day...[Read More]

Yad Vashem

Day 7: May 21, 2017

By Clark Andres
Remember the past--Live the present--Trust the future
Attributed to Abba Kovner (1918-1987), poet, resistance fighter, survivor
I don't think anything could have prepared us for Yad Vashem. We walked into the museum with our heads held high(ish), bracing ourselves for the unknown, across the creaky bridge which we were told reminds survivors of the train tracks the Nazis used... [Read More]

Tattoo Shabbat

Day 6: May 20, 2017

By Carlos Carpenter
Today is Shabbat and we are given complete control over our own itinerary for the day. There is no need for the group to stay together and no need to go anywhere. Most of the group decided to go back to the Old City and explore on a deeper level...[Read More]

Climbing Massada

Day 5: May 19, 2017

By Tami Strang and Vicki McGrath
Early morning Sunrise climb to Masada, visit Neve Midbar beach at the Dead Sea, return to Jerusalem for Shabbat of a lifetime...[Read More]

Josephina and Hillary

Day 4: May 18, 2017

By Hillary Buren and Josephina Huang
Drive south towards the memorial site of Black Arrow Monument, explore life on Kibbutz Nirim...[Read More]

Jerusalem Trail

Day 3: May 17, 2017

By Ben Bernardy
Conflict, confusion , complexity...
We dove headlong into a tour of the west bank and east jerusalem just after morning coffee today. [Read More]

Good morning, Jerusalem

Day 2: May 16, 2017

By Lily Rea
Waking up to the bright early morning light of Jerusalem was both jarring and refreshing. The view from our room is incredible... [Read More]

Depart from SFO to Israel

Day 1: May 15, 2017

By Jhos Singer
One by one we found each other, after traffic and saying goodbye, false starts and packing madness, at gate 91. The first group selfie was successfully shot... [Read More]