July 31, 2006

Heard from Jo

Jo called this morning. She sounded like she was having fun at the water park.

Eyal says:
Dear Parents,

Today the kids had time to relax in Shfa'ym Water Park in the morning. From there they moved to Caeserea and later to Kfar Glikson where they had a meeting with Turks members of Hanoar and with the head of the European Desk of Hanoar Hatzioni. They finished with a BBQ and a pool Party.

Posted by laura at 11:06 PM | Comments (0)


Just booked a two week holiday leaving Friday week to Boston USA.

Posted by laura at 06:12 PM | Comments (0)

Latest Photos


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group nice.jpg

Posted by laura at 08:27 AM | Comments (0)

Jaimie Update

Jaimie called last night from camp and said she was walking with crutches because she had hurt her knee. She sounded happy and said that she always wanted crutches!!!

Posted by laura at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

Update Day 18

I didn't post this yesterday as the update arrived late last night.

Eyal says: (I am not correcting his English)

Hope you all had a good weekend.
The kids started this week with HH world wide programme. They experienced a bit from the life of the Chalutz in the Kibutz at 1930's (they even baked their own bread) they went inside a tunnel full of water and they were in Zichron Ya'akov. At the evening they had a meeting with modern kibutzniks in Kfar Glikson. They will continue tomorrow with the programme and in Wednesday they will sart the Mifgashim (encounters) part of the tour when they will have two days with Israelis in their age.

Posted by laura at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2006

In Tel Aviv

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Posted by laura at 12:07 PM | Comments (6)

July 28, 2006

Jai Gone Now!

Jaimie has gone off to JLGB camp for 10 days. I really don't think I will worry too much about that. We are going to visit her on Tuesday for open day.

Carly spoke to Jo and said she was off to the beach... sounds good.

Message from Eyal reads:
Today the group completed the tour in Tel Aviv. Today the group played the Israeli society game in the streets of Tel Aviv. They had questioner for random people in the streets and they had to take photos of the people. At the end, they all came back to one group and shared their conclusions and thought about Israelis and Israeli society. From the game they came back to Nachsholim and had free time on the Beach of Nachsholim and Families meeting. Later they made Kabalat Shabbat on the beach with the sunset. The theme of the Shabbat is spirituality in Judaism.

Posted by laura at 09:40 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2006

Thursday Update from Tel Aviv

Today the group continued to discover the fascinating city of Tel Aviv. In the morning they went to the Independence Hall. From there they went to Neve Tzedek. Then they went to have lunch in Ganey Yehoshua – Park Hayarkon, where they had time to paddle in the park. At the afternoon they went to the flee market in Jaffa when they met friends from another tour (FZY). When they finish telling stories to each other they continue in the old city of Jaffa and at the evening they enjoyed the fabulous show of Mayumana that wasn't a usual show – for this show joined one of the most popular singers in Israel – David Broza. It was a very intense and exciting day for them.

Posted by laura at 09:50 PM | Comments (0)

I'm a Yenta!

Look here to see how I became a "YENTA".

Posted by laura at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2006

Wednesday's News

We spoke to Jo this evening, she started off quite happy and then was a bit solemn. I think she will be fine.

Today the group start its tour in Tel Aviv. They visited today in the Palmach Museum, where they learned about the undergrounds and the struggle for the independence of the Jewish people in Eretz Israel, They continued inRabin Square where they had peula about rabin's assassination and finished in a relax environment in Park Hayarkon.

I'm glad to tell you that the website of Israel experience was updated last night with new photos: www.israelexpereience.org.il/ukhh2006
What's Next?
Tomorrow: Independence Hall, Neve Tzedek-Rothchild Boulevard, Jaffa, Mayumana (overnight: Nachsholim)
Friday: Neighbourhood Tour, swimming in the Mediterranean, Families meeting, Preparations for Shabbat, Shabbat Programme (overnight: Nachsholim)

* Information correct at this present time, subject to change

Eyal Ankri
The Jewish Agency Shaliach
for Hanoar Hatzioni movement

Posted by laura at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

Jo in Pink!

I found this picture this morning on the Hanoar communications page.


.....and I just noticed this one , where she in in the front in the middle

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....and more (look second from right)

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Posted by laura at 09:13 AM | Comments (0)

Carly is Home

Carly arrived home last night. She says she hasn't slept in a week! They went to the clubs at midnight and arrived back at 8 in the morning. However she looks surprisingly healthy!

Posted by laura at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2006

Today's News

Well, Joelle has spoken with Nick today. She said she had a bad day yesterday but a really good day today and felt much happier. I am pleased and happy.

Today the kids volunteered in Nitzanim in the temporary camp for residents of the north that went down south and later on they continued to Alexander River for a bike ride. The volunteering made a huge affect on them. Some of them said that it was the most fulfilling feeling that they ever had. Even the tour madrichim, agreed with this. They kept on describing the smiles on the kids faces and the gratitude of their parents. Some of them said that they could stay there for a week. Unfortunately, they didn't have a week so they continue the tour in Alexander river were they had a bike ride and finished the day in one of the most beautiful places in Israel (This is my personal opinion) Nachsholim, when they staying over night.

Eyal Ankri
The Jewish Agency Shaliach
for Hanoar Hatzioni movement

Posted by laura at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2006

Daily News

I spoke with Eyal and he said that the Madrachim are keeping a close eye on her!

Today the kids continued with the programme of the World movement of Hanoar Hatzioni in Nitzanim and Gesher Ad Halom. When they completed this part they went south to Park Golda and back to Mash'abei Sade for night. Today was the end of the Negev Experience and tomorrow they will continue exploring Israel, not before they will volunteer with Evacuating kids from the north on the beach of Nitzanim.

What's Next?*
Tuesday: Volunteering with the evacuated north kids in Nitzanim, Bicycle ride in Alexander River (overnight: Nachsholim)
Wednesday: Tel Aviv - Palmach Museum, Rabin Squere, Jaffa (overnight: Nachsholim)

*information correct at this present time, subject to change

Have a nice day,

Eyal Ankri
The Jewish Agency Shaliach
for Hanoar Hatzioni movement

Posted by laura at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)


I just spoke to Jo, she was very tearful and homesick. I asked if she wanted to come home and she said not. She had a bit of a cry and by the time she finished talking she felt a bit better. She said she wasn't the only one that felt like that. She said she was going to have a shower to make herself feel better. Poor old thing! I did ask if she wanted me to get her home, but she said no! I don't really know what to do or say to make her feel better.

Posted by laura at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

Weekend Update

For some reason my update didn't come through last night! I had to wait for Laurence to forward it through to me. I will e-mail Eyal this morning to put that right.

Dear Parents,

I hope you all had a good weekend. The group had an intersting shabbat were they divided for sub groups and had to prepare kidush, Havdalla, activities for shabbat,etc. Today they had a really busy they that started in Eilat continued in Ein Ovdat, Sde-Boker, Nitzan and Nitzanim. The last peula finished at 22:00 and just then they started their way to Mash'abei Sade where they going to spend this night and tomorrow night.

Today the kids had to interesting encounters: one in Ntzan, where they met teenagers that experienced the dissengagement on themselves, and they shared feeling and stories from the year that just passed since it happened. The seconed meetting was with members of Hanoar Hatzioni from Latin America, that took part in the Ha'apala game on Nitzanim beach.

Shavua Tov,

Eyal Ankri
The Jewish Agency Shaliach
for Hanoar Hatzioni movement

Posted by laura at 08:03 AM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2006

Being in Israel

I read this article about the youth groups in Israel. Nearly 1,400 British children are in Israel and only 4 parents have requested their children home.

Posted by laura at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2006

Shabbat Update

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Today the group continued their time in Eilat. They started at Mt. Tzfachot continued with swimming in the sea, and now they preparing for Shabbat. Today's evening and tomorrow they will have a Shabbat programme and in Motsaey Shabbat they will go to a disco on a ship.

Tzfachot in Hebrew is the name for a geological form of metamorphic rock called slate. The group start climbing a few hundreds meters from Eilat Field School to the top of the mount. There they enjoyed the nice view at the summit. From there you can see four different countries: Israel to the north, Jordan to the east, Saudi Arabia to the southeast, and Egypt to the south and west. The wadi reaches the Club Inn hotel, near some acacia trees.

Shabbat Shalom,
Eyal Ankri
The Jewish Agency Shaliach
for Hanoar Hatzioni movement

Also getting daily texts from Carly who is having a fab time in Malia.

Posted by laura at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2006

Just Spoke to Her!

Just spoke to her and she said she was fine now and had made loads of friends and is having fun. I am so happy, I hope she doesn't get sad when she speaks to Jonny.

Posted by laura at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

My Mind at Ease (a bit)

Eyal called me tonight to say that the madrachim had a chat with Joëlle. She was a little tearful and was missing home but was enjoying herself as well. There also was a group of girls who were being very kind and sensitive with her. I told him I was not worried that I had not spoken to her and was reassured now that I knew the madrachim were aware of how she was feeling.

Today's update came with photos (and I saw Jo smiling!)

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Getting down and dirty with Naomi and friend

Group with Jo on the right hand side

Eyal says:
The group is continuing having fun and chilled in Eilat. Today they went to the Red Canyon, which some of them said it is the most beautiful part of the tour until now.Then they traveled back to Eilat , snorkeled in Coral Beach and having free time in the beach.

Posted by laura at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2006

Homesick update

I e-mailed Eyal in Israel and immediately he replied:

Thank you for your email. I assure you your email is totally natural.
I'll speak tomorrow with the madrichim and ask them about this issue. They are well trained to deal with issues like this, and did it more then once in the past. Joelle will probably call you tomorrow or in Friday. She was not able to call you in the last days due to the fact that they have been in places without phones (survival in the dessert and Masada the day before). Now, when the arrive to Eilat she will have a lot of opportunities to call you.
Please, don't hesitate to contact me by phone or by email with any question or worry.

Have a nice evening,

Eyal Ankri
The Jewish Agency Shaliach
for Hanoar Hatzioni movement

Posted by laura at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

Wednesdy Update

I am a bit sad as I have heard, through a third party that Joelle is very homesick. I will contact Hanoar in the morning.

Dear Parents,

Today the group completed its challenge in the desert and continue south to Moshav Chatzeva and from there they continued to Eilat. In Eilat they visited at the British Police station that was the start of Eilat after the Negev unit arrived there in 1949 and took over the place (that was called then Um Rash Rash). After that they had free time to enjoy the city and they finished the day with a peula (activity) about different streams of Judaism in Israel.

Tomorrow the group will go to the red canyon and from there to snorkeling in Coral Beach. At the second part of the day they will have time to go to the beach for swimming and to the mall.

Posted by laura at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2006

Tour Update

Dear Parents,

I hope you are all well. After the special experience that the kids had in Masada yesterday, the tour continued today south, to a short hike in Nachal Chavarim and then Mitzpe Ramon. After Mitzpe Ramon, they started one of the most excited and challenging part of the program: Survival in the desert. This part of the program continue is continuing 24 hours and they will finish it tomorrow.

At 12:30 pm the group stated their 24 hours dedicated to explore the desert. The company "Tiyul Acher" ("another kind of trip", or a "different tour") provided the logistical services needed for the exciting task. This kind of trip provide an unique experience of the desert, placing emphasis on hiking, sleeping outdoors under the stars and enjoying the simplicity and the magnificence of the desert with as little to do with civilization as possible. The group enjoyed the beautiful landscapes in the day and a campfire and the stars at night.

As part of the unique experience of the desert, the group spend the night at "Borot lotz" under the stars.

Have a nice day,
Eyal Ankri

Posted by laura at 09:21 PM | Comments (0)

Worry Two Fold

Now not only am I worrying about Joëlle in Israel, I have to worry about Carly on her “girls” holiday in Malia, Greece. It is a different type of worry, like, don’t leave a drink about; don’t walk off on your own; separate your money; drink plenty of water and make sure you smother yourself in suncream! She informed me that they are all “sensible girls”!

Oh it’s hard work being a mum! She is planning 3 months away at a Camp America next Summer!

I suppose that I will worry about Jaimie being at camp next week!

Posted by laura at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2006

Monday Update

They started the day very early before sunrise and climb Masada to watch the sunrise from there. They have been in the dead sea and in Ein Bokek and they are staying tonight at Masada Youth Hostel.

Please bear in mind that starting tomorrow morning till Wednesday evening, the kids will not be able to contact with you due to their 24 hour survival experience in the Negev.

Today the group had one of the strongest experiences on tour, they went to Masada with the sunrise. After that they did a hike in David River and finished it at the Dead Sea, where they enjoyed a relaxing time. At the afternoon they arrived to Ein Bokek where they could rest from the intensive day and they are staying in Masada Youth Hostel over the night.

Eyal Ankri

P.S I have not corrected any spellings or grammar from these e-mails - please read with Israeli accent!

Posted by laura at 08:46 PM | Comments (0)


Just spoke with Jo on the phone. It was a very crackly line and I couldn't hear her well. I asked if she had made friends and she said "Kind of". Now I am not sure if she was miserable or not!

Posted by laura at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

Sunday Update (A little late)

The kids continuing having great time and they were today in the area of Beit Guvrin which is south from Jerusalem. Tomorrow they going to Masada and Ein Gedi, then they are going south to Mitzpe Ramon and then to Eilat where they will stay until Sunday morning. All of this places are in the south of Israel.

The group stayed at the Bedouin village last night sleeping in a huge tent for all of them, after having sampled the finest cuts of lamb in traditional Bedouin bread. Last night the leaders prepared the group for their day today at Masada.

I urge you to call me with any question or problem that you have.

Layla Tov (Good Night),

Eyal Ankri
The Jewish Agency Shaliach
for Hanoar Hatzioni movement

P.S I have not corrected any spellings or grammar from these e-mails - please read with Israeli accent!

Posted by laura at 07:28 AM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2006

Israel Experience

Whilst I wait to hear from Jo or the daily update I have become fixated on the UJIA webpage. Israel Experience, (who organise ALL Israel tours for youngsters) photograph and video the tours throughout their time in Israel.

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Douglas Guthrie Photographer

In this photograph I see Joelle (not looking too happy. I can only assume she is tired)!

Look here to see the daily updates from the groups. Joelle's group is HANOAR HATZIONI.

Posted by laura at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2006

Today's Update

Email from The Jewish Agency for Hanoar Hatzioni:

The children are really happy, enjoying themselves and looking forward to Shabbat.
They are aware of the current situation and are being updated by their madrichim on a daily base. During the updates the madrichim are sensitive to their age and situation and we would like to ask you when speaking to your children to also bear this in mind.

Today the 3 Israelis chanichim joined the group in Jerusalem. Those 3 are coming from the western Galilee and they were glad to join the group.

Update as follows:

This two days are the first Shabbat experience on tour. It is a very special Shabbat where they have time to get to know each other better and to start and build meaningful relationship between them. Today, the group went to mount Zion, to the Sataf and to the Kotel. They are spending the Shabbat at Jerusalem at Rabin Youth Hostel, and will go tomorrow to the Roses Garden near the Knesset to do the Havdala. After Shabbat finished they will go to the Time Elevator.

Posted by laura at 07:58 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2006


Of course it is a worry when your child goes away from home. More of a worry when they go to a country like Israel with the news that was announced today. However, I have put my trust in Israel Experience to look after one of my most precious possesions (my 2nd born) and I must trust them to look after her and keep her safe.

We have received a message from the The Jewish Agency Shaliach for Hanoar Hatzioni saying:

They are all OK and had a long day in Jerusalem. They went to sleep few minutes ago in Rabin Youth Hostel in Jerusalem.

The situation in the North: The Security Department of the Jewish Agency is continuing to monitor the situation in all parts of Israel. They are maintaining their instruction that, as a precaution, programmes for any groups who are due to be in or around affected areas must be modified.

Precautionary modifications have now been made in a way that maintains the educational integrity of the tours and the group dynamic.

The Security Department of the Jewish Agency is continually providing us with regular updates, enabling programmes to continue as normal with appropriate modifications being made if necessary.

They have had a busy day looking around Jerusalem and are all now asleep.
I have been able to send her a message through the webpage and feel relieved in that.

Posted by laura at 07:46 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2006

Joëlle to Israel

I came home from work early today to spend some time with Joëlle before she goes to Israel this evening for a month. To abide by the weight limit has been difficult and we spent an hour trying to get rid of items that she may not need. (i.e. pairs of jeans and shoes). The biggest problem was the hiking boots and we decided that it was probably better to carry them even if it made hand luggage heavy for the first day. We also eliminated 300 pairs of knickers and decided that travel wash would help her wash the other 300 pairs should she need to!

Bon Voyage Jo. Be safe, be happy and enjoy all the new experiences and make lifelong friends. We love you loads.

Posted by laura at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2006

London Youth Games 2006

I have just got in from a wonderful day at Crystal Palace with the London Youth Games 2006. My school's Tag Rugby Team had been selected to play for Redbridge and we faced five other borough teams in the competition.

It was wonderful to be playing in a stadium and we would like to thank the parents (Not WAGS but MADS - mums and dads!) for their support. We would like to thank the rest of the Redbridge teams for cheering and also our Year 6 class, Mrs Pluck, Mrs Lehayne and Mr Spruytenburg. We did not win but all the matches were very close. The final match we played against Hillingdon was a 7 all draw.

We had a great day watching the indoor athletics, netball and hockey. Well done team you were a credit to your parents, school and the Borough of Redbridge!

Posted by laura at 06:36 PM | Comments (36)

July 03, 2006

More Prom Stuff

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Jo and Jonny

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Jonny, Jo, Helena and Matt

Posted by laura at 05:50 PM | Comments (20)

July 01, 2006

Hot of the Press Pics!

Carly's are done but Joelle's have to be downloaded from a borrowed camera.

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Darren and Carly

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Darren Carly Tash and Ross

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Carly and Tash

I have one photo so far of Jonny and Jo

Posted by laura at 02:56 PM | Comments (1)