It is the halfway mark to our first summer in Israel.. and I have so much to tell you! (read until the end as there’s a surprise waiting for you.)
Last year we traveled back to the States for the entire summer- 9 weeks away from the holy land of Israel. When we returned to Israel last year, I looked at my husband and said, ‘next summer, we’re staying in Israel.” That is precisely what we did.
Yes, I know many travel back to America for the summer. If that works for those families, then all the power to them. My outlook was as follows- all year long the kids are in school 6 days a week. There is no down time, other than holiday vacations, to relax and enjoy the country. So I thought, we LIVE in Israel, we should EXPERIENCE Israel all year long, including the summer.
I set out to plan out the summer but I was laughed at. Do you know why? Because I started to think about it in September..well, that’s what happens in the States- you sign up for next summer’s camp on the last day of camp. Well, apparently in Israel, camp isn’t thought about until well after Pesach vacation. So after Pesach, I registered my children for camp. They were quite nervous to try new camps as they had been going to the same camp for the 7 consecutive summers until now. When they found out their friends would be in the same camps, it made the concept agreeable to them.
So now that we’re more than halfway through- this is how it’s going:
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE SUMMER HERE. If you’ve been following me until now, you probably aren’t all that surprised by that statement. But really, I do. It may be boiling in the scalding, hot, desert heat. I may need to change into 3 different outfits throughout the day because of that 38 degree Celcius heat. That’s 100+ degrees Fahrenheit for my American friends. But there’s something so relaxing about the summer here.
The camp situation is as follows:
*2 or 3 week session camps.
*Camp begins at 8 and ends at 2 Sundays through Thursdays.
*There is an option to extend the day until 4 (tzaharon) for extra cost.
*If the kids are in younger grades, the schools offer free-camp in July. Now we’re talking! 😉
I’m happy to report, my children went to camp and returned from camp happily- and that made me thrilled. It reinforced our decision to stay in Israel for the summer.
But the summer went beyond camp.
There were 6 shekel ice coffees from Cofix,
Bowling in Talpiot
Friday pool days with cousins,
trampoline jumping at Jerusalem’s First Station,
bicycle riding in the bike park,
ice skating in Jerusalem’s Pais Arena,
There were lazy no camp Friday mornings, always rushed camp Sunday mornings. and lots of chilled out family time in the air conditioning.
But most importantly, NO HOMEWORK!
For all those times that you want to fill in the time but don’t know how to, there’s an incredible solution for that. Joanna Shebson of Fun In Jerusalem put together a summer guide that will keep you busy from morning until night, if you don’t fall over by lunchtime.
Even if you don’t live in Israel- you would benefit to see all the wonderful things happening here! You will be amazed!
Check it out! There are so many things in this guide that I think my children would be thrilled to extend summer vacation by another 4 months. Listen, as long as there’s no homework, I’m on board with that proposal.