Early yesterday morning we left our hotel and walked a few blocks to the “StandWithUs” Israel Center, where we heard about the BDS movement on college campuses, and what their narrative and goals are. We developed our own “Israel narratives,” and learned how to respond to the BDS movement.
We then went to Yad Vashem, but we did not have the typical Yad Vashem visit. Instead of going to the actual museum, we went to the Children’s Memorial, the Valley of Lost Communities and saw a few other pieces of art. It was a powerful and intense experience for both first timers, as well as those who have been to Yad Vashem many times. It provided us with another level of appreciation about the importance of having our Jewish homeland and the ability to defend ourselves in the state of Israel. Rebecca Meller, a former Write On student who is currently serving in the IDF as a lone soldier, spoke about how her experience on Write On last year influenced her to serve. She was specifically inspired by the Write On trip to Yad Vashem, and still has a picture from that trip as the background on her phone.
After Yad Vashem we went to Machane Yehudah, where we walked around the shuk and got lunch. We then went back to the hotel to get ready for Shabbat and our visit to the Kotel.