JNF Educators Study Tour 2020

Day 10 – Last Day –  From the Dead sea to Masada to our final destination in Rechovot

Reflections from Reddam House School NSW and Heatherwood School VIC

Dave Pitcairn – Principal – Reddam House School NSW and Braham Morris- Deputy Principal-  Heatherwood School VIC

Masada. (The fortress) is a World Heritage Site.

The energetic people in the group left early to get a head start as they climbed Masada mountain up the Snake Path, so named due to it’s winding nature. This is on the eastern side and is one of the two entries to Masada.
The more sensible remainder left 30 minutes later and ascended by cable car, meeting at the top.


Video: Robyn Grana from Masada College NSW

We learned that this was built by King Herod in 30 BCE with the full ingenuity and might of the Roman Empire behind him. We visited his opulent palace and ended up at one of the oldest synagogues. Here Rabbi Yossi led us in prayer (Psalm 23) for all affected by the bushfires in Australia. A good omen was that it was raining as we prayed. Something that rarely happens here.

We learnt about the rebellion of the Jewish people against Rome which saw Masada overthrown and occupied by Jewish rebels. The retaliation was slow and thorough, starting by overthrowing Jerusalem and then proceeding to Masada where 1000 people had taken refuge in this fortress.

The Roman solution was to build a ramp up the western side of the mountain and gain entrance into the walled fortress that way.

The story of Masada culminates in the Jewish people selecting suicide as free people over capture by the Romans.

Masada was excavated in 1964 by Yigal Yadin, the first Israeli Chief of Staff and later archaeologist.

Masada is seen as a symbol of bravery and it will never fall again.

After a two hour drive to Rechovot we enjoyed a scrumptuous lunch at Pipridelah Italian restaurant.

Ayalon Institute Museum

Built in 21 days, the underground ammunition factory had its entry hidden under an industrial washing machine. The Ayalon Institute was a secret ammunition factory disguised as a kibbutz to fool the British back in the 1940s. Organisers went to extreme measures to build and sustain this secret factory within the kibbutz. Between 1945 and 1948, the Ayalon Institute produced more than 5 million 9mm bullets. Incredible bravery and ingenuity by these young pioneers.


From all of the group we wish Eve a Refuah Shleima and a speedy recovery.

De Shalit High School Complex is a high school named after physicist Amos de-Shavit.

The School has an enrollment of 980 students, in years 10, 11 & 12 from Rehovot and Kiryat.

We visited the computer science and history classes. There we engaged with teachers and students in a meaningful way about their excitement with the curriculum which is new and their futures which are bright.


The day culminated in the closing ceremony in the lovely hall at this school. It involved the formalities of thanking everyone who organised and contributed to this wonderful program.

Concluding thoughts and video of the 2020 KKL-JNF Educators study tour:

Farewell amazing food 😢
Farewell to bus trips 😄 to amazing sites😢
Farewell to team photos at every important location. 😄
Farewell to KKL JNF team 😢
Farewell to the most AMAZING Australian group of educators. 😢
Farewell Israel 2020 KKL JNF tour 😢

Shalom and Lehitraot