Group 6: Israel Pilgrimage/Poland Seminar (2nd Departure)
Friday, July 22nd
Today, the group learned about “New Jerusalem,” which basically traces the line that was Israel’s border with Jordan before 1967. They first went to the Ramat Rachel promenade. They visited Ammunition Hill, walking through the trenches that used to be part of a Jordanian bunker that was the center of battle in 1967. They then stopped at Shuk Mahane Yehuda (open market) to buy goodies for Shabbat and headed back to their home in Jerusalem, the Fuchsberg center, to prepare things for Shabbat. They will be spending Shabbat with groups 1, 4 and 8. Tomorrow they will spend the day in Tfilot, resting, learning Pirkei Avot, and hanging out. Shabbat Shalom!
Thursday, July 21st
Today the group began their day at sunrise in the desert. They davened Shacharit separately, each finding their own space among the sand dunes and rocks. Later they learned to navigate their way through the desert. Once they concluded their Desert experience, they drove back to Jerusalem. The kids had some free time to rest and this evening they had a BBQ for dinner followed by a stand-up comedy show with Joel Chasnoff.
Wednesday, July 20th
Today the group started with Shvil Hasalat (the salad trail) – a fascinating tour of a large Organic farm, which contains a giant vegetable garden divided by beautiful furrows. Then headed back to Mitzpe Ramon and began their 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.
Tuesday, July 19th
This morning the group drove from Eilat to 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. Then they headed to Mitzpe Ramon were they will be spending the night. This evening they enjoyed a group activity together, prepared by the staff.
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 1 and 8.
Sunday, July 17th
After returning from a relaxing and fun free weekend, Group 6 headed south for the week. They stopped at the Hazerim Israel’s Air Force Museum. Since the first days of Israel’s air force, Israel purchased planes from all over the world. Brigadier Jacob Turner, who was the commander of the Hazerim base in 1977, organized the effort to create an air force museum and gathered together old planes from throughout Israel’s history. From there they drove down 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!