Abby Gordon is blogging from Israel while on the Centennial Mega Mission.

Abby Gordon is blogging from Israel while on the Centennial Mega Mission.

(Editor’s note: Abby Gordon is with the Centennial Mega Mission celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. She will blog for the Chronicle during the trip and will also invite other participants to share their experiences by contributing pictures, telling  stories or writing their own guest blog entries.)

Read Abby’s first post from Israel

We arrived in Tel Aviv at 2:30 a.m. local time. Amsterdam was a beautiful old city, but by the end we were all very ready to get to Israel. Unfortunately we weren’t able to go to the Anne Frank Museum as the line was always very long and you can’t order tickets in advance. Even after four days in Amsterdam the time difference doesn’t feel quite natural yet, but I’m already thriving on the energy of Tel Aviv.

We’re staying at the David Intercontinental, the same hotel we’ll stay at with the full mission group when we return to Tel Aviv at the end of the trip. This morning we ate breakfast on couches in the sun by the pool.

The hotel is gorgeous and our room overlooks the pool and the beach. After breakfast we walked down the boardwalk and swam in the warm, clear sea. Tel Aviv manages to feel so modern yet natural, so it feels exactly like a modern 21st century city and exactly like a pristine beach city in a land overflowing with ancient history.

We’ll stay in Tel Aviv again tonight, and tomorrow we’ll meet up with some other early arrivals to take a guided tour en route to the sister region where we’ll meet up with the rest of the group and the mission will begin.

(Abby Gordon can be reached at