Group 3: L’takayn Olam
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.
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 another morning at Eichlu Reim, a soup kitchen in Jerusalem. Today they helped pack food in packages for Shabbat. 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 all the groups together enjoyed a disco party. Tonight they came back to Jerusalem to sleep at the Fuchsberg Center before departing for free weekend tomorrow.
Wednesday, July 13th
The group spent the morning at Eichlu Reim, a soup kitchen in Jerusalem, cutting vegetables and setting tables. They then went to the Israel Museum to see the model of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Taking their knowledge of the second Temple period, they went to the Old City walking through the Jewish Quarter and then visited the southern Wall and the Kotel. The group returned to the base and after dinner had a session with Jules Gutin and then went to Ben Yehuda Street for some shopping time.
Tuesday, July 12th
This morning the group woke up early and left Jerusalem at 5:30 to go welcome a flight of Nefesh b’Nefesh olim (new immigrants). With welcome signs in hand, they joined over 800 people in welcoming 245 immigrants. It was a very emotional and amazing experience. From there they went to volunteer at Leket Yisrael (an organization that donates food to families and food banks around Israel) where they picked 3,500 pounds of potatoes that will feed 350 families for two weeks. They headed back to Jerusalem were they spoke to Bradley Cohen about the social action programs he has created and then spent time with Danny Siegel learning about other “mitzvah heroes” and things that they can do in their home communities. After dinner they met up with Neal Lazarus and discussed Arab –Israeli conflict. Then they had an early and quiet evening.
Monday, July 11th
Today the group left Haifa and headed to Jerusalem to the Fuchsberg Center for Conservative Judaism, their home for the next few days. They put their bags in their rooms and left for 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). They had a wonderful time splashing in the water! Group 3 returned to the Fuchsberg center for some free time. After dinner they attended a session with Rabbi Paul Freedman.
Sunday, July 10th
This Shabbat, Group 3 relaxed and had a chance pray at Moriya Masorti congregation and meet teens from Noam –USY’s sister youth movement in Israel. This morning they departed for their volunteer placements and had a very successful morning. After lunch back at the institute, they had some free time to rest before they went to the Carmelit Subway to visit Wadi Nisnas and meet with young leaders of Arab Youth groups. After dinner they had a work- shop, “The art to paper cutting,” a skill that can help in future volunteer projects. This evening they met up for action sub- groups.