Thursday, July 28th

The group started their day at Yad Lekashish, a non-profit based in Jerusalem that provides employment and social services to over 300 elderly artisans. Then, Group 7 headed to Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Holocaust Museum, where they had a very moving tour. Next, the USYers visited Mount Herzl. This mountain serves not only the Israel Defense Forces’ official military cemetery but also as the burial site for prominent Zionists, Israeli politicians and those figures who greatly influenced the development of the state. They stopped at the graves of Herzl, Yoni Netanyahu and Michael Levin among others. They then planted trees at JNF Forest Yaar Aminadav and each USYer dedicated their tree to someone special in their lives.  After dinner they played drama games, which gave them a chance to reflect on their journey in a fun and active way. The group then ended their day by going out for a fun and relaxing night out on the town.

Thursday, July 28th

The group spent their day learning about Mitzvah and Tikun Olam work with Danny Siegel. They drove to Hod Hasharon were they volunteered at Click, an organization which strives to improve the quality of life for the aged. They participated in an art workshop side by side with the elderly and donated the art products to the institution. Later they heard about the woman who founded the organization supporting the Righteous Gentiles living in Israel. They ended the day in Jerusalem learning from Danny Siegel about other “mitzvah heroes” as well as volunteer opportunities in their home communities. After dinner they heard Neil Lazarus give a fascinating lecture on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Thursday, July 28th

This morning the group planted trees in Yaar Aminadav, JNF forest and each USYer dedicated their tree to someone special in their lives. They then headed to Jerusalem and after lunch they visited Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Holocaust Museum. There they had a very moving tour. Next, the USYers visited Mount Herzl. This mountain serves not only the Israel Defense Forces’ official military cemetery but also as the burial site for prominent Zionists, Israeli politicians and those figures who greatly influenced the development of the state. They stopped at the graves of Herzl, Yoni Netanyahu and Michael Levin among others. After dinner the group enjoyed a group program prepared by their staff.

Thursday, July 28th

Today the group departed for the Archaeological Dig Seminar where they dug to try find artifacts from the Second Temple period. They crawled through Bar Kochba’s secret caves, which were used to plan the Bar Kochba Revolt against the Roman Empire in 135 CE. They then had lunch at Kibbutz Beit Guvrin and spent time at the swimming pool! Group 2 then headed back to Jerusalem, had dinner and then enjoyed a group activity prepared by their staff.

Wednesday, July 27th

This morning Mission Mitzvah began their drive to Yellowstone National Park. On the way they stopped off for a picnic lunch. The group also played a game of football following lunch. After re-boarding the bus the wheelniks watched the movie Bruce Almighty. When they arrived in Yellowstone they settled in and then did some relay races as part of their color war competition. Tonight they had dinner and celebrated the birthday of one of their fellow bus mates.

Wednesday, July 27th

This morning Bus D left Louisiana and drove to Atlanta. On the way they watched the movie Rent and sang along to the music. The group then stopped off for lunch before working on their tefillah goals on the remainder of the ride. When they arrived the wheelniks went out to the ballpark to see the Atlanta Braves take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. After celebrating a Braves victory the wheelniks headed to their hotel for the evening.

Wednesday, July 27th

This morning Bus C drove to Albuquerque. When they arrived they visited Old Town Albuquerque where they had free time to check out the shops full of beautiful Indian art and enjoyed ice cream at one of the shops. The bus then went to a nearby synagogue for dinner. The group finished their day with some fun at the Hinkle Family Fun Center where they rode go carts and bumper cars and played laser tag and arcade games.

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