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  • Writer's pictureLiya S

And, we're off!!

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

It's hard to believe the day is finally here. My family and I are off on an adventure to explore the land of Israel for my bat mitzvah. If you know my parents, you know I’ve grown up hearing about the miracle of Israel since I was old enough to eat my first falafel. Now it's my turn to see the land and its historic sites, meet the people, taste the hummus, and experience all of the things I've only heard and read about.

It is especially meaningful for me because during the first week of our trip, we will be traveling with both sets of my grandparents, my aunts, uncles, and all of my first cousins - nothing could be more special.

I also know that because we’ve chosen to celebrate my bat mitzvah in Israel, there are many many people we love dearly who will not be with us. That’s one of the reasons we’ve created this blog - we hope this small glimpse into our adventure inspires you and serves as a reminder to celebrate the many miracles that are around all of us!

Photo 1: Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport

Photo 2: Me showing mom how to take a proper selfie with my own selfie-stick arm

Photo 3: Mom, Dad, and I just realized this is really happening!

Photo 4: Our first falafel at a roadside stand suggested by our driver - I'd give it an A but need more to compare it to!

Photo 5: An awesome sunset my Dedushka caught just before we sat down for dinner up north near Kfar Blum

And now, as the title of the blog says YALLA — which in Hebrew literally means, “Let’s Go!”

With love,


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Ian Saratovsky
Ian Saratovsky
Jul 14, 2023

Mazel tov, Liya! Thank you for taking us along on your journey! You’ll have to tell us what to visit when we go next year. Enjoy every minute. Love Uncle Ian, Aunt Shari, Weston, and Zachary.


Nicole Splenser
Nicole Splenser
Jul 12, 2023

Love that you are taking us with you!!!! 💕


Taryn Baranowski
Taryn Baranowski
Jul 11, 2023

So proud of you! Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!


Jul 11, 2023


Todah Rabah for taking us along on your voyage to Eretz YIsrael for this momentous occasion. Kaylie and Ryan were enthusiastically awaiting the trip. Now, let the adventures begin with the Bethesda Saratovskys! Keep the photos and stories coming. So far, excellent reporting and beautiful visuals! Mazal Tov! Safe travels! L’hitraout!


Carol, Stew and Lana

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