Sunday, July 24th

After a relaxing Shabbat, the group spent the day learning about mitzvah projects with Danny Siegel. They toured around Jerusalem in the morning, visiting Shalva, an organization that deals with mentally and physically challenged children. From there they drove to Ramot were they helped pack meals with Moshe Kot, who started the Lev Ramot Organization, a food bank that feeds 450 families once a week and does it completely anonymously.  In the afternoon, they had a lecture with Bradley Cohen of “All for the Kids.” Before dinner they had an interesting Midrash limud (study) with Rich Moline and after dinner they had a group activity about Israeli culture, prepared by their staff.

Sunday, July 24th

After a relaxing Shabbat together, the group headed to Tel Aviv. They visited the Independence Hall, where David Ben Gurion declared Israel an independent country. After lunch they visited the Olympic museum. The museum boasts high-tech imaging and illustrations, audio-visual presentations, holograms, interactive screens, and hands-on trials. The USYers had a chance to learn not only about some of the greater moments in Olympic history but the Israeli achievements as well. From there they went to Kikar Rabin, the site of Yitzchak Rabin’s final hours, where he spoke at a peace rally and was then assassinated. The group learned about this leader of Israel and sang the song “Shir La’shalom,” a song about peace.

Sunday, July 24th

After a wonderful and relaxing Shabbat together, the group spent the day in Tel Aviv. They visited the Independence Hall, where David Ben Gurion declared Israel an independent country. From there they went to Kikar Rabin, the site of Yitzchak Rabin’s final hours, where he spoke at a peace rally and was then assassinated. The group learned about this famous leader and sang the song “Shir La’shalom,” a song about peace. This afternoon they visited Old Jaffa, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, and had some time to shop in the market. Next they visited the Olympic museum. The museum boasts high-tech imaging and illustrations, audio-visual presentations, holograms, interactive screens, and hands-on trials. The USYers had a chance to learn not only about some of the greater moments in Olympic history but the Israeli achievements as well. This evening they walked along the promenade in Tel Aviv.

Sunday, July 24th

This morning the group woke up at 4:30am and climbed to the top of Masada to watch a beautiful sunrise and daven Shacharit at the remains of one of the world’s most ancient synagogues- 2000 years old. They had a tour of the fortress guided by their Israeli counselor, Oshra. After hiking down the mountain, they ate breakfast at Ein Gedi youth hostel, and headed to Nes Harim were they will be spending their next five days. After lunch and some free time to settle in their rooms, they started their volunteer work at the center and also enjoyed a lecture by Dr. Bentzi Bar-Lavi, the head of the JNF educational department.

Sunday, July 24th

After a relaxing Shabbat together, the group spent their day around the Kinneret. They hiked down the Arbel, a fortress from the Second Temple Period. Then they cooled off from the hot day with a swim in the Kinneret! Next they visited the Kinneret cemetery where the famous poet Rachel is buried, as well as Naomi Shemer, celebrated for her song “Jerusalem of Gold.” In the afternoon, the group rode donkeys and each had a turn to drive and ride. They dressed up like ancient donkey drivers and learned about the history of Kfar Kedem.

Sunday, July 24th

After a wonderful Shabbat together, filled with joy and ruach, the group began their last week in Israel. They spent the morning at Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Holocaust Museum and had a very moving tour. After lunch they planted trees in Yaar Aminadav and each USYer dedicated their tree to someone special in their lives. After dinner they heard Neil Lazarus give a fascinating lecture on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Friday, July 22nd

Today Bus G made their way from Fairbanks to Anchorage. Their first stop was at veteran’s memorial park where they had some free time. Next the group stopped at a famous local coffee shop called Mocha Moose. Later, they went through their normal Shabbat routine including shopping and some free time to get ready. Bus G is excited to be coming together for their final Shabbat and is excited to spend some quality time with their fellow bus-mates. Shabbat Shalom!

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