Group 2: Israel Adventure Plus

July 20, 2012

Group 2 continued their outdoor experience this morning at the early hour of 5am with a hoke before sunrise where they davened shacharit and watched the sunrise. They ate a delicious breakfast and started their drive towards their base at Arad for Shabbat. They had a chance to relax and prepare for Shabbat. Everyone’s looking forward to a wonderful Shabbat. Shabbat shalom!

July 19, 2012

Group 2 started their morning at Independence Hall, where David Ben Gurion declared Israel an independent country. Then they drove south and stopped at Kibbutz Saad. They swam in the pool, got to ride a tractor and went on a tour of the kibbutz. Their next stop was Mitzpe Ramon where they got to go rappelling down the side of a mountain; everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience! In the evening they started their desert experience. They cooperated with one another to make their own dinner, went on an evening hike and had a pleasant night star gazing program.

July 18, 2012

Group 2 left Jerusalem this morning and headed to Tel Aviv. Their first stop was Kikar Rabin, the site of Yitzchak Rabin’s final hours, as he went to a peace rally and was then assassinated. There they learned about Yitzhak Rabin’s life and all of his accomplishments. From there they went to the Olympic museum and heard stories about the Olympic winners from Israel and their achievements. Then they had lunch, free time and shopping time at Shuk HaCarmel, followed by a visit to Dialogue in the Dark; there, they were led by an experienced tour guide who was blind, through darkness. In the evening they had a program about Tel Aviv to learn more about the wonderful city.

July 17, 2012

Group 2 started their day at Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Their next stop was Mount Herzl, which serves not only as 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 returning to base and enjoying dinner, they heard from Neil Lazarus who talked to everyone about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

July 16, 2012

The group spent their day learning about Mitzvah and Tikun Olam work with Danny Siegel. In the morning they went to Kiryat Ono and visited an organization that supports girlfriends of soldiers who were killed. Then they had lunch and talked about other “mitzvah heroes” as well as volunteer opportunities in their home communities. In the afternoon they talked to someone in charge of an organization that helps righteous gentiles. Then they watched the movie about Michael Levin, a lone Israeli soldier who emigrated from the United States and was killed in combat in 2006. In the evening the group ate dinner and went out for a fun evening on Ben Yehuda street.

July 15, 2012

After a fun and relaxing free weekend, group 2 reassembled and toured the Old City for the day. They had a tour through the remains from the Second Temple period. They enjoyed some free time and a tasty lunch at the Jewish quarter. Then they went to the overlook of the Kotel as well as a visit to Robinson’s arch and the Davidson center. Their final stop, before returning to base, was at the Israel museum where they had the chance to view artifacts in the museum, including the Qumran scrolls, which shaped Jewish history.

July 13, 2012

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!

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