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ECJS Vietnam 2018

Once again in 2018, ECJS returned to East Asia. The event began on the Thursday with an early morning start to explore the Vietnam War Cu Chi Tunnels, followed by an afternoon studying HCMC with its Presidential Palace and War Remnants Museum. On Friday participants experienced traditional Vietnamese environments visiting the Mekong Delta, and as stilt houses, fishing villages as well as tasting traditional Vietnamese fruit. For Shabbat we relaxed in the hotel and learnt about the history of the Jewish Community of Vietnam, before a fun evening riding Scooters around the busy city streets and skyline.

On Sunday everyone got up early for a morning flight to Hanoi, and then got to visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex before the scenic Tay Ho (West Lake) region and an evening learning about the history of Vietnam through a comical Water Puppet show. On Monday everyone went on a long day trip to the beautiful Ha Long Bay (one of the seven Modern Wonders of the World) and then on Tuesday the event finished with a true-life experience meeting families living in poverty in the East Hanoi slums under the Long Bien Bridge in the middle of the Red River.

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Purim on the Rocks 2018 – Thessaloniki

Purim this year took place in Thessaloniki, Greece in the fantastic five star Met Hotel.  The event started with a visit to the historic sites in Thessaloniki, including the White Tower, Galerius Arch, 2 Synagogues and the Jewish Museum. In the evening Rabbi Yoel Kaplan from Thessaloniki led an energetic Megillah reading for Purim, followed by the traditional Seudah meal and exchange of Mishloach Manot. This was followed by a fun Purim costume party.  During the Friday, a trip to Veroia saw the beautiful synagogue and town before stunning waterfalls on Mount Olympus. On Sunday participants ended their visit with the opportunity to see explore the tomb of King Philip II (father of Alexander the Great) at Vergina.

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Just One Shabbat 2018 – Stockholm

The event began on the Thursday with a visit to the city center including the historic Gamla stan and the Drottninggatan – the City Hall and and the Parliament. On Friday, we visited the Stockholm Synagogue and learnt about the Swedish Jewish community,  before an early Shabbat brought us together as one family. Participants after Shabbat partied the night away with JUS at the famous Cafe Opera Nightclub. On Sunday, a full day trip showed the Viking – era village of Sigtuna and the pretty university town of Uppsala before we experienced a stylish Black Tie Ball to celebrate the New Year. We then finished on the Monday with a fast-paced strategic game, where participants had to deliver spices across the continent in the Spice Road game.

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