Group 3: L’Takayn Olam

July 16, 2012

July 15, 2012

After a fun and relaxing free weekend, group 3 reassembled and headed north for the next few days. They started in 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 Shabbat hymn Lecha Dodi. The group had a tour of the city and two of the synagogues and enjoyed some free time to walk around and visit the candle factory. Then the group headed to their base, Tel Chai, to have some va’ad meetings and enjoy dinner. In the evening they had an introduction to their volunteer project for the upcoming days.

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!

July 12, 2012

Today the group spent the morning volunteering at Or Meir. From there they headed to the event with Ramah at Neot Kdumim. They got to meet other Ramah participants, interact and do various activities while enjoying lunch, singing and dancing. After, 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 enjoyed their time together. They came back to Jerusalem tonight before departing for free weekend tomorrow morning.

July 11, 2012

Group 3 started their day volunteering at an ecological farm. They learned about agricultural techniques and about various Israeli landscapes. Then they enjoyed their time splashing around in the pool at Mesilat Zion. After returning to base in Jerusalem, they enjoyed a delicious BBQ dinner and an evening with Neil Lazarus who talked to everyone about the Arab-Israeli conflict. They ended their evening with some final Haevent practice before the big day tomorrow!

July 10, 2012

This morning group 3 had a creative shacharit. They took pictures of certain things they saw in the nature around them and then related it to a prayer in the morning services – everyone enjoyed the meaningful experience. Then they headed to a school in Beit Shemesh which serves a socially-economic deprived area, and did a wonderful job painting their their gymnasium. Afterwards, they went to Hazekah Hill where they learned about the battle of David and Goliath. In the evening they continued their Haevent rehearsal followed by an activity called “Night of a thousand stars” where everyone was required to dress up as a character for the evening. Then they received a scene and had to act it out in their character; everyone had a fantastic time playing someone else!

July 9, 2012

Group 3 went to Adulam park to do an archeological dig, where they opened the door to the past and found ancient artifacts! Then they went on a short hike and arrived at caves that were used during the Bar Kokhba revolt around 132 C.E. They had the opportunity to go spelunking through these caves, which is the exploration of ancient tunnels. After, they returned to their base at Nes Harim to have dinner, practice for Haevent and enjoy a campfire!

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