Summer 2011

Wednesday, July 27th

This morning Bus C drove to Albuquerque. When they arrived they visited Old Town Albuquerque where they had free time to check out the shops full of beautiful Indian art and enjoyed ice cream at one of the shops. The bus then went to a nearby synagogue for dinner. The group finished their day with some fun at the Hinkle Family Fun Center where they rode go carts and bumper cars and played laser tag and arcade games.

Wednesday, July 27th

Today Bus A drove to Reno. In the morning they davened shacharit overlooking a lake just outside Yosemite. When they arrived in Reno, Bus A went out to the Circus Circus hotel where they went to the amusement tent to play arcade games and ride the rides. In the evening they went to a local synagogue for dinner and hung out in the lounge before preparing for their overnight drive.

Tuesday, July 26th

Today Bus A spent the day exploring Yosemite. In the morning the group davened shacharit and had breakfast. The group then split up into two hikes and enjoyed some picturesque views of the magnificent park. Bus A then returned to their cabins, ate lunch and had sichot. Later they walked to a beautiful waterfall and went swimming in the river. At night they did an evening program under the stars.

Monday, July 25th

After shacharit this morning Bus A made their first stop at the Jelly Belly Jellybean factory. There they learned about how the delicious jellybeans are made and got to try many of the various flavors. Before leaving, the group made a stop in the gift shop to load up on some jellybeans for their many rides ahead. The bus then made its way to Yosemite National Park. On the ride the wheelniks watched a movie. When they arrived the group ate dinner and went stargazing.

Wednesday, July 27th

This morning the group drove up to Mount Miron, the highest mountain in Israel pre 1967. They took a hike around the summit with a view of the entire north of Israel. They then headed to Rosh Hanikra where they walked through the beautiful grottos created by the water hitting the rock for hundreds of years. Their next stop was the city of Acco. There, they visited the Templar Knights tunnels. The Templar Knights built a fortress in Akko in the 12th century BCE, after the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin. The fortress was built on the southwest corner of the city, so the Knights built a 350-meter long tunnel connecting the fortress to the port on the southeast side of the city. This evening they returned to Kibbutz and enjoyed an evening of BBQ and swim.

Wednesday, July 27th

The group spent their day learning about Mitzvah and Tikun Olam work with Danny Siegel. They volunteered at Leket Yisrael, an organization which donates food to families in need around Israel. The USYers picked onions which will be transported to organizations serving those in need throughout the country. The next stop was the city of Sderot. There, they cleaned and painted a playground. They met with local residents who shared their experiences. They ended the day in Jerusalem learning from Danny Siegel about other “mitzvah heroes” as well as volunteer opportunities in their home communities. After dinner they heard Neil Lazarus give a fascinating lecture on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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 planted trees in Yaar Aminadav and each USYer dedicated their tree to someone special in their lives. Later, Group 6 headed to Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Holocaust Museum where they had a very moving tour. Next, the USYers 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.  After dinner they played drama games, which gave them a chance to reflect on their journey in a fun and active way.

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