July 18, 2012

This morning Bus H woke up, davened shacharit and headed off for another mitzvah-filled day! The  went out and volunteered at the Road Runner Food Bank. At the food bank they packaged 12, 000 pounds of canned foods and 4800 pounds of granola bars…amazing! The group then visited the International Balloon museum where they learned about hot air balloons. Following this, the group will head to the Rattlesnake museum to see all the cool exhibits. From there, they will head off to get some laundry down and have a delicious meal at the local synagogue. To end their evening, the group participated in a program called, “crossing the street,” which is a type of Macabbiah game that also involved a scavenger hunt!

July 18, 2012

Group 8 woke up at an early hour of 5:15am to continue their desert experience with a hike before sunrise where they davened shacharit and watched the sunrise. They ate a delicious breakfast and went to visit Sde Boker for a swim and lunch. Then they toured Ben Gurion’s home and grave while learning more about his dream to make the desert as green as possible by planting many trees. Next they drove to Arad and had some free time before having dinner and a group bonding program in the evening.

July 18, 2012

Group 5 woke up at an early hour of 5am to continue their desert experience with a hike at Machtesh Ramon before sunrise where they davened shacharit and watched the sunrise. Then they had a delicious breakfast and started their drive up to the north. Once they arrived at Kibbutz Hannaton, their base for the next few days, they had some time to relax, go swimming and nap. In the evening, after dinner, they enjoyed participating in a drum circle; they learned how to play the darbookah, while getting to sing and dance!

July 18, 2012

Today, the group learned about “New Jerusalem,” which traces the line that was Israel’s border with Jordan before 1967. They first went to the Armon Hanatziv promenade which overlooks most of Jerusalem and offers a beautiful view of the city and from there they saw a checkpoint on Derech Bet Lechem. They then visited Ammunition Hill, walking through the trenches that used to be part of a Jordanian bunker that was the center of battle in 1967. In the afternoon they went to the Knesset and had the opportunity to listen to a former USYer, who works for a politician in the Knesset, talk about Israeli politics. In the evening the group enjoyed a humorous evening full of drama games, which gave them a chance to reflect on their journey in a fun and active way.

July 18, 2012

Group 3 continued their volunteering in Kiryat Shmona this morning. They painted railings in the park and fixed benches. Then they went to Banias, which was a fun hike with a lot of greenery and waterfalls. They ate a delicious pizza lunch and headed to a real army base near by Syria! They got to climb tanks and learn more about what it is like to be in the IDF. In the afternoon they went to Katzrin to spend some time in the mall, have dinner and eventually headed to base to enjoy a group bonding program.

July 18, 2012

Group 2 left Jerusalem this morning and headed to Tel Aviv. Their first stop was Kikar Rabin, the site of Yitzchak Rabin’s final hours, as he went to a peace rally and was then assassinated. There they learned about Yitzhak Rabin’s life and all of his accomplishments. From there they went to the Olympic museum and heard stories about the Olympic winners from Israel and their achievements. Then they had lunch, free time and shopping time at Shuk HaCarmel, followed by a visit to Dialogue in the Dark; there, they were led by an experienced tour guide who was blind, through darkness. In the evening they had a program about Tel Aviv to learn more about the wonderful city.

July 18, 2012

Group 1 left Eilat this morning and headed to Kibbutz Ketura. Once there, they got the opportunity to learn about what it means to be on a kibbutz, took a tour of the area, learned about the various industries and initiatives that were formed on the kibbutz and more! They participated in a mock kibbutz trial game in order to gain a better understanding of how a kibbutz functions: the different dilemmas that arise and how to function as a unit, as a family. Then they had lunch followed by a nice dip in the pool in the kibbutz. In the evening they made their way back to Jerusalem where they had the opportunity to hear from Neil Lazarus who talked to everyone about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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