Simon’s Bar Mitzvah Tiyul To Masada – April 2017

Yesterday I had the very big honor of accompanying Simon & his family and friends on a tiyul to Masada. Of the top 394 photos from the day, I did not find it possible to narrow it down to just ONE image to post to Facebook.

So, I shall tell the {abridged} story of the day instead..


I think this image is a great representation of the general, infectious enthusiasm of Simon’s family and friends; most of whom must have woken at around 4:00am to catch the 5:00am bus and travel over 2 hours to Masada. Enthusiasm and much coffee…

After arriving at the site, everyone was treated to a huge bagel breakfast and given their ‘Climbin’ with Simon’ backpacks full of treats & water.


The group was split into Climbers (taking the Snake Path up) and Lazy People (taking the cable car). With about 8 kilo of camera equipment, my decision to take the snake path did send me in to a mild panic, but it all worked out in the end.


The views were just spectacular; they will never get old, and even in the boiling heat, the climbers had a brilliant hike up with Jonty, learning all the way to the top.



(Though one of the kids did keep asking me when we were going down for lunch & if there would be schnitzel…)

Once we all made it to the top, it was time for Shacharit & them Simon’s leining!


Simon was brilliant, clear & confident and it was such a privilege to be part of such a special and unforgettable tefillah!


(Parents just a teeny bit proud)



And that’s not the end. Now it was time for Tali to step in with her part of the morning. Tali & Jonty led the kids in an incredible scavenger hunt across the top of Masada, involving solving clues, map reading, team work and good old fashioned brain power.


They were split in to groups and were running all over the place completing missions, some of which involved screaming across cliffs until you heard you echo come back at you, and creating a synchronized dance in an ancient pool which had to be filmed and sent to Tali’s phone.


There was a brilliant energy amongst the groups and the kids embraced their tasks immediately!


At the end of the mission, Simon received a certificate from Tali/ Israel ScaVentures and a beautiful ending speech/dvar Torah from Jonty


And of course the winning team were presented with their prize – a treasure chest full of gold coins… (of the chocolate variety) which they were not too in to sharing with me..


We quickly grabbed a few minutes for some family portraits & an obligatory selfie with me..


Then it really was time to head back down in the cable cars for lunch & to catch the bus home again.


{And yes, there was schnitzel…}


Thank you to the amazing Kirschenbaum family for an utterly epic day & mazal tov to Simon & all of you on your very special shabbat!!


With lots of love,