Group 1: Israel Adventure
Tuesday, July 19th
The group spent the morning in Eilat. They had free time at the mall and visited the stone factory. After lunch they took a long drive to Mitzpe Ramon. They began a 24-hour outdoor desert experience. They went repelling down the side of a cliff, and encouraged each other to challenge themselves. This evening they went on a short hike, prepared their own dinner, and went stargazing before going to sleep under the stars.
Monday, July 18th
Today the group spent a fun and relaxing day in Eilat! They went to the underwater observatory where they saw sharks, tortoises, and an assortment of fish, as well as a view of the gorgeous Red Sea (which is in fact blue). They had a delicious lunch in the Halleluyah restaurant and then they got a taste of the water as they went snorkeling in small groups, and learned about the coral reef found right off the shore of Eilat. After dinner they went on a disco boat ride with groups 6 and 8.
Sunday, July 17th
After a fun and relaxing free weekend, the group headed south for the week. Their first stop was at the Alpaca Ranch. The Alpaca Farm is the only farm in the world where over 400 exotic alpacas & llamas are raised and where the entire process of growing and spinning them can be observed. Then they finished the day by driving to Eilat, the most southern tip of Israel.
Friday, July 15th
Yesterday, the group had a great time hanging out with the other USYers at the USY event. Today the USYers left for Free Weekend. Some went to relatives and others stayed on base, but all were excited for time to sleep and get refreshed for the week ahead. Shabbat Shalom!
Thursday, July 14th
Today the group spent the morning volunteering with Table to Table. They picked many pounds of onions which will be used for feeding the hungry. From there they went to the Latrun tank museum and enjoyed seeing and climbing on some of the tanks used in Israel’s wars. The group also visited the memorial for the fallen soldiers of the armored corps unit. After lunch they drove to the Ben Shemen forest for the annual USY Event! Each year at this event, all USY groups come together for an afternoon of competition, cheers, and fun! They do ropes course activities, learn about Israel through games, and bond as a group, each with their own color t-shirt! After a delicious BBQ dinner each group performed a cheer or dance and then enjoyed a disco party together. They came back to Jerusalem tonight before departing for free weekend tomorrow morning.
Wednesday, July 13th
The group spent the day in Tel Aviv. They visited 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, as he went to 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. This afternoon the group went to the Olympic museum. This evening they went to Old Yaffo for an overlook of the sea and some time to shop.
Tuesday, July 12th
The group spent their day at Sde Boker, once the home of David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel. They visited the hut in which he lived, and learned about his life and his brand of Zionism. Then they visited his grave, which is alongside his wife Paula’s grave. They discussed the importance of the Negev desert to Israel and then had a short hike in Ein Ovdat. Then they headed to a Bedouin tent and just before sunset they went on a camel ride. At the tent they were hosted to Bedouin hospitality with coffee, tea, and a delicious dinner. They did an evening activity and slept under the stars in the Bedouin tents.