Group 2: Israel Adventure PLUS
Monday, August 1st
Last night the group enjoyed their final banquet. During the banquet, they gave out awards and gave presents to the staff. They received their group t-shirts and group photo and then spent their last few hours together sharing memories. At 2 am they loaded the buses and left for the airport. We know that Group 2 had an amazing summer and look forward to seeing them in Israel again soon!
Sunday, July 31st
Today Group 2 explored “New Jerusalem.” They first went to the Armon Hanatziv promenade which overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem and offers beautiful views in all directions. They then visited the Ammunition Hill, walking through the trenches that were part of a Jordanian bunker that was the center of battle in 1967. This afternoon they visited the Gilad Shalit tent, and had time to do their last minute shopping on Ben Yehuda. They headed back to the Fuchsberg center to pack and prepare for their banquet dinner and final programs. In the evening the group came together to share memories of everything they have done and accomplished on their incredible journey this past summer.
Friday, July 29th
This morning the group 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. They then headed back to Jerusalem and stopped at Mahane Yehuda, an open market, to buy goodies for Shabbat. When they got back to the Fuchsberg center, they had time to prepare for their final Shabbat in Israel which will be spent together with groups 3, 6 and 7.
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
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. They then headed to Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Holocaust Museum where they had a very moving tour. The group then 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 in Yaar Aminadav and each USYer dedicated their tree to someone special in their lives. Group 2 later headed back to Jerusalem and after dinner they attended a session with Rabbi Paul Freedman.
Tuesday, July 26th
The group visited the Diplomat Hotel and heard stories of olim (immigrants) who came to Israel from the former Soviet Union. In the afternoon the group heard a lecture by Bradley Cohen and Danny Siegel about what they can do to make the world a better place. This evening the group met with Neil Lazarus for an update on current events in Israel and in the Middle East. Last, the group watched “A hero in Heaven,”a short film documentary has been produced to honor the memory of Michael Levin (z”l) and had a chance to discuss it.
Monday, July 25th
Group 2 enjoyed their final day up north for this summer, starting off in Haifa overlooking the city from the top of the Carmel Mountain. They walked through parts of the beautiful and famous bahai gardens and then headed to Osafia. At Osafia they had a delicious Druze meal while hearing about the Druze culture and traditions. When they arrived back in Jerusalem their first stop was a visit to the Kotel, giving the USYers some personal time at the wall and a chance to add their own personal “kvitel” (note). This evening the group relived and remembered their journey of the past four weeks through fun drama games as they began the final part of their trip at Agron, in Jerusalem.