Group 3: L’takayn Olam
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.
Friday, July 22nd
This morning the group drove down south. Their first stop was the Ein Gedi springs, where they had a nice hike to waterfalls. After lunch they headed to the Dead Sea where they had time to swim and float. They then drove to the youth hostel at Masada, where they will be spending Shabbat. They prepared decorations, learned new songs in preparation for Shabbat. They are excited to have a day for rest and relaxation. Tomorrow they will spend the day resting, learning Pirkei Avot, enjoying group activities and hanging out at the swimming pool. Shabbat Shalom!
Thursday, July 21st
This morning the group woke up for their final day of their volunteer projects in Kiryat Shmona. After an ending ceremony, the group drove down to Tel Aviv. They visited Independence Hall, where David Ben Gurion declared Israel an independent state in 1948. Then they went to the Olympic museum. Their next stop was the open market of Shuk Ha’Carmel were they had free time to walk around and do some shopping. Tonight the group spent the night in Tel Aviv.
Wednesday, July 20th
Today the group returned to Eilat Street in Kiryat Shemona where there are volunteering this week. They weeded the garden so that it can be planted soon. Today they also hiked the Dan River- the largest tributary of the Jordan river, whose source is located at the base of Mount Hermon. They then went to an overlook from Har Bental where they learned about the importance of the Golan Heights for Israel. They headed back to Tel Chai for dinner and an I.D.F. group activity prepared by their staff.
Tuesday, July 19th
This morning the group carried on with their hard work by again volunteering and helping paint apartment buildings of needy population. This afternoon, they drove to the Kinneret and cooled off from the hot day with a swim! The group then 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. Then they had dinner and free time in Tveria.
Monday, July 18th
This morning Group 3 donated their time by volunteering and helping paint apartment buildings of needy population. The afternoon was spent in the Upper Galilee. They went on a water hike in Nahal Snir and then had a blast kayaking in the Jordan River. Next they went shopping at the famous Naot factory where they had fun trying on and buying sandals. Then headed back to Tel Chai.
Sunday, July 17th
After a fun and relaxing free weekend, the group drove up to the mystical city of Tzfat. Among the many people who came from Tzfat are the prominent kabbalists, Isaac Luria and Moshe Kordovero. Besides the kabbalists, Tzfat also attracted numerous other Jewish scholars and spiritualists, including Joseph Caro, the author of the Shulchan Aruch and Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz, composer of the Sabbath hymn Lecha Dodi. The group had a tour of the city and synagogues. Group 3 also had an opportunity to go shopping at the famous candle factory. They then traveled to Tel Chai their base for the next few days. This evening they had an introduction to their new Volunteer projects in the area.