Group 2: Israel Adventure PLUS

Thursday, July 7th

The group concluded their week of Gadna. They left the Gadna base at noon and drove all the way down south to Arad. They will wake up very early to climb Massadah for sunrise.

Wednesday, July 6th

Today the group learned about the different ranks in the army and had a special program about Michael Levin, a Nativ and Camp Ramah alum who fell in battle during the War in Lebanon in 2006.

Tuesday, July 5th

The group had another tiring yet satisfying day in Gadna. They are having a great time learning about different aspects of Israeli life, especially the army. Today they had some sessions on Jewish identity. They also discussed how to rise to challenges in our lives. Every day they improve in doing their exercises, and are enjoying themselves immensely.

Monday, July 4th

The group enjoyed their first full day of Gadna. After the morning inspection and parade, the group had a field day that included lots of mud on their faces and crawling on the ground. They had different classes about the army and Israeli culture during which they had time to ask Israelis on the base about certain aspects of society. They also had kitchen and guarding duties. The USYers have been perfectly behaved for their commanders and love participating in this part of the summer.

Sunday, July 3rd

After a lovely Shabbat together, Group 2 was very excited to go to Gadna (a four day introduction to the Israeli army) where the group will get a taste of this very important aspect of Israeli life. After breakfast at the Fuchsberg Center, the group headed to the north and visited the Palmach cave in Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek. They learned about the training of secret spies training during WWII who were to defend the Jewish community in Palestine in case the Nazi army reached the land of Israel. They then drove to Juara, for their week in the Gadna program. They had an opening ceremony and a few sessions which introduced them to the program.

Friday, July 1st

The group spent the first part of their day learning about the Second Temple period in Jerusalem. They drove to the Old City, walked through the Roman Cardo in the Jewish Quarter, and toured the Herodian Mansion – the remains of a house that once belonged to the high priest in the first century. They went to the Kotel, the Western Wall, where many of the USYers put notes of prayers and thoughts. The group continued to Robinson’s Arch where the marketplace next to the Temple stood and where people would be able to buy food and animals during their stay on Pilgrimage Festivals. They visited the Israel Museum where they saw a large and intricate model of Jerusalem as it appeared before 70 C.E. Group 2 then stopped at Shuk Machane Yehuda to buy things for Shabbat. They then returned to the Fuchsberg center to prepare for their first Shabbat in Israel. Tonight they will daven Kabbalat Shabbat overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem and tomorrow they will have the opportunity to go to different synagogues in the area. The rest of the day will be spent resting, learning Pirkei Avot, and hanging out. Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, June 30th

The group woke up this morning for the first day of touring in Jerusalem. They began with an orientation for their week of Gadna- introduction to the Israeli army life. After lunch they headed to the City of David to learn about the First Temple period. The highlight was walking through Hezekayah’s Tunnel, a water aqueduct that brought water to the city during the time of King Hezekayah (700 BCE). Group 2 had a wonderful time splashing in the water! Group 2 then returned to the Fuchsberg center for some free time. After dinner they went to the pedestrian mall known as Ben Yehuda street for some shopping and hanging out.



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