March 22-24

Hello everyone. First off I’d like to thank Miss Vann and my Grandparents for commenting on every post so far 🙂 Jennifer, you come in a close second. I really do appreciate comments – they’re a lot of fun to read.

Anyway, the last three days, let’s see now…


We began March 22nd by driving up to Haifa. We were told to wear our bathing suits and swimming shoes onto the bus (I left my brown flip-flops on the bus, too :() and we went straight to the beach. Once there we sat down in the very distracting sand and listened to Yossi teach us about different ships that tried to bring Jewish Holocaust refugees into Israel. The most famous ship, after which a movie was made, was the Exodus, and we got the chance to act out what the refugees went through. We were split into two groups: group alef and group bet. We were assigned partners, and Yossi demonstrated how we were to pick them up. Right hand on your partner’s left arm, left arm over your partner’s left leg, and flip hold them on your shoulders/back. Of course many of us (read: the girls) weren’t too successful in this, but we just pretended and went on anyway. Group alef was first to trudge into the cold water. They went in and began waving their arms and yelling “help! help!” Group bet then rushed gallantly into the water, switched their shirts with group alef’s so the British wouldn’t know who was a citizen and who was a refugee, and safely carried them to shore. Next the groups flipped rolls, everyone having a chance to save each other. And yes, before you ask, I was able to save Amanda and safely carry her almost all the way to shore. I haven’t been working out for six months for nothin’. Finally, in our last rescue, two of use held arms in such a way as to make a seat for the third person who we were saving. After all this rescuing we tired out, and some of us remained in the water to play in the waves while other collected shells or sat in the warm sunshine. It was quite a fun morning. Oh, and guess what! Matt Killip was again mortally wounded! Everyone give him a little pat on the back for a record three injuries so far!

Yossi demonstraing carrying techniques with his willful partner, Matty. Playing in the ocean.

Then we headed to a nearby refugee camp, where we learned about what life was like there, and how different militant Jewish groups decided to address freedom from British rule over Israel. We had lunch, Micah slapped people in the face with salami, and I successfully ate all the ice cream out of the chocolate shell of my delicious white chocolate Magnum popsicle. Finally we got back on the bus and began our movie of the day, The Negotiator (pretty good, too – Kevin Spacey is awesome).

In the theater at the camp. Listening to Yossi.

Next we went to Acko prison, where Jewish freedom fighters were hanged. Most of them were 21 years old. We was the prison cells and the gallows, and in the gallows room we sang Hatikvah. After the prison we went to Rosh HaNikrah, natural caves and caverns carved by the water which, as the film at Rosh HaNikrah so eloquently put it, “lapped at and caressed the rock.” After a little slippery hike through the tunnels and a ride on the cable car we stopped for a rest and took in the amazing view, waved through a fence on the other side of which was Lebanon, tried Yossi’s way of getting gumballs out of the gumball machine (lay on the ground and put your mouth next to the opening and let the gumball fall right in), and once again got on the bus. The next three hours were spent in traffic as we finished The Negotiator and we went for D.O.T.S., dinner on the streets, in Raanana.

The girls at Acko prison. Rosh HaNikrah - Jerusalem and Beirut.

After such an eventful day we were ready for a very laid back Friday. We had classes in the morning, as usual, which are, as expected, becoming quite painful, and when they were finally over Carly, Amanda, Jeremy, Daniel, and Room 81 (what what) went out for their free shabbat and the remainder of us stayed on campus. The evening was very very relaxing – some of us walked to the park and got ice cream, others stayed back and read, and, of course, much poker was played in the evening. Finally after midnight we all retired to our rooms, and Raelle and I watched the beginning of a movie until I could no longer keep my eyes open.

This morning I woke up at 6am to give Rachael Mendel a big happy birthday call at midnight Atlanta time. YAY! HAPPY 18th BIRTHDAY RACHAEL! I miss you! I promptly went back to sleep, not to wake up again until 10:45. Ahh, I love sleeping in. I woke up with blue marker all over my face (no, no one played a trick on me and drew on my face in my sleep); someone foolishly gave me a marker last night and I drew all over my hand. Naturally, because I sleep on my hand often, a very distinguishable smilie face was imprinted twice on my cheek. It didn’t come off until later today. I got myself a delicious bowl o’ cereal, checked my email, and all around chilled out. No, literally, chilled out. I tried to take a shower but the hot water was…well, not working. My shower was cold, and I therefore refused to continue taking it. This was a good choice, however, because an hour later we were in a taxi on the way to the beach! The girls, Max, Joel, Adam, and three JDS girls (plus Ofir, our madrich) all went to the Hertzelia beach. The waves were GINORMOUS. Seriously, I’ve never seen waves this big before in my life. We jumped over them, under them, in them, and one even tried to eat Adam. Yeah, so, I got pushed under the water a bunch of times, wanna fight about it? Some of us swam while others sunned, and while we were there the group staying with Barak stopped by to play some soccer on the sand. The day was a bit windy, but otherwise beautiful, and definitely very very enjoyable.

The guys playing soccer. Adam and Max having fun at the beach.

At 5 o’clock we left the beach and came back home to Muss. I went out for a nice Chinese dinner with Lewis and Jared at Come Soon (yeah, weird name, I know), and now I am here, writing this and uploading photos.

Tomorrow is Gadnah, ladies and gents. We go to an army base until Wednesday night and are put through a quick basic training. It’s not all pushups and running, though, so don’t worry – I GET TO FIRE AN M16!

And now I say farewell to you all until Thursday, most likely, when I will report on Gadnah (perhaps without pictures, I’m not sure).

Oh, and sorry about the picture, Mrs. Levitan.



29 Responses to “March 22-24”

  1. Ellen Sichel Says:

    What is with your sister and yourself and markers??? Thanks for the details. I must admit, I breifly skim the head of schools reports. After reading yours- laughing and getting quiet from your descriptions-nothing can top that! Love you and miss you. Mom

  2. Marianne Fixelle Says:

    I have to tell you that I look forward to each new entry. You are very talented and I want to thank you for continuing to share your gift with all of us back home. Your words help to bridge the distance.
    I am going to Israel for Pesach, if anyone needs anything or if parents would like me to take something over for them, I will be happy too. Just let me know ASAP and we can make arrangements.
    Hugs and Kisses to y’all

  3. Cheri Levitan Says:


    Thank you again for your regular blog entries. We LOVE reading about your adventures!!! Jessie and I can’t wait to see all of you in Israel over the Passover break…

    Enjoy Gadnah and we’ll see you soon!

  4. Jenn Sichel Says:

    jamie lynn, stop writing on your hand (yes… i type this as a look at the two-day-old-half-washed-away note in red permanent marker on my own hand)

    haha… i remember eating chinese food at come soon. i even have the pictures to prove it. in fact, i think i have all your same pictures, memories.

    okay, back to research.

    much love.

  5. Grandpaverby Says:

    Jamie I loved reading about your day In Haifa. I remember it well. Nanny and I did not do the things you did. We visited the prison and I recall a dinner on the roof of a Dan hotel overlooking the harbor. I got a kick out of reading your Moms and Jenns reply. We have you in our thoughts every day. It is a real treat to read about your experiences in Israel. Much love. Grandpa and Nanny

  6. Rachael Says:

    So I finally caved. I will right a response to your blog (but I won’t enjoy it.) Thank’s for memorlializing my birthday on your blog! Well it sounds like a good time there in Israel. But since y’all get to shoot M-16 I am going to a shooting range and shooting guns too. So anyways thanks for writing the blog. It is really amazing!

  7. Sheryl Rechtman Says:

    It was great reading your explanation of what you guys did at Atlit Beach, since all I got from Joel was that it was a beach. Thansk again for keeping me completely informed.

  8. Robert Sichel Says:

    Let’s see– Jamie shooting an M-16. The makings of a parent’s worst nightmare.

    Keep up the good work.

    Love, Dad

  9. Grandpaverby Says:

    Once again Jamie Nanny and I read about your experiences in Israel. The things that you and your friends are doing will be with you forever. It has become a part of my day to sign on to your website and read about your day. We are still here in the desert of California. Our weather is not to different from yours in Israel. Keep having a great time and we will follow along.


    Nanny andGrandpa

  10. Miss Vann Says:


    I want to go to the beach. 😦

    But, alas, I am here where the pollen count is supposed to be 5,400 today. Ah-chooo!

    I am jealous, and that is a very unbecoming thing to admit, but there you have it.

    I have to go teach APEH now. We are starting WWII. Let the former APEHers that we are going to finish the book this year.

    Miss V.

  11. Jody Steinberg Says:

    Like all your other fans, I love your entries, writing style and the wonderful details you include. It’s a treat to learn more about Israel through your eyes and the amazing HSIS experience. After re-enacting Exodus on the beach, you really should insist on getting that movie for your next tiyul.
    I hope everyone had an amazing time on Gadnah, and cannot wait to see all of your photos and hear the reports: What were the most difficult and hilarious moments, and who was the best shot with the M16? Just make sure you and your classmates leave those souvenier bullets behind!
    Wishing you and the Class of 2007 a chag Pesach kasher v’sameach – and the timeless toast: THIS YEAR in Jerusalem! Enjoy.

  12. brad cherson Says:

    I hope Jeremy points that m16 in the right direction…make sure you tell him which way is the right way.

    How is Jeremy these days…we don’t hear much from him…hint-hint

    Except that he want to join the IDF.

    All take care,

    brad c

  13. Debbie Levinson Says:

    Jaimie- Where are you? We are anxiously awaiting your uncut version of life in the military Weber Style. Is it true that military mess food trumps Muss Mess hall? I am sure the IDF will have stories to tell after you all left!

  14. John Barnett Says:

    Very interesting read! Truely!

  15. Dona Vogel Says:

    If I had a dollar for every time I came here! Great read.

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