Group 5: Israel Pilgrimage/Poland Seminar (2nd Departure)

July 31, 2012

Group 5 started their final day at to Yad Lekashish, a non-profit based in Jerusalem that provides employment and social services to over 300 elderly artisans. Then they planted trees in the JNF forest. Each USYer dedicated their tree to someone special in their lives. They headed back to base to hear about the amazing opportunities available to everyone during their gap year with USY’s Nativ year long program. They also went to shuk Machane Yehuda and Ben Yehuda street one final time before packing and preparing for their final banquet dinner. This evening the group came together to share memories of everything they have done this and accomplished on their incredible journey this past summer. At the end of their night they will load the bus and head to the airport. We know that group 5 had an amazing summer and look forward to returning to Israel again soon!

July 30, 2012

Group 5 started their day at Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Then they went to the Herzl museum, located on Mount Herzl. They learned about Herzl and his dreams. They walked around 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 figures who have greatly influenced the development of the state. They stopped at the graves of Herzl, Yoni Netanyahu and Michael Levin. After returning to base in the evening they played some drama games which gave the group a chance to reflect on their journey in a fun and active way, followed by a talent show.

July 27, 2012

Today the group learned about “New Jerusalem”, which traced the line that was Israel’s border with Jordan before 1967. Their first stop was the Tayelet, which provided a beautiful overview of the Old City. Then they went to Ammunition Hill and walked through trenches which used to be a part of a Jordanian bunker that was the center of battle in 1967. In the afternoon, they walked by the Knesset and learned more about Israeli politics. Then they went to shuk Machane Yehuda one final time before returning to base to pack and prepare for their final Shabbat together. It will be filled with ruach, spirit, learning and more. Shabbat shalom!

July 26, 2012

The group spent their day learning about Mitzvah and Tikun Olam work with mitzvah hero, Danny Siegel. They began their day at CLICK and enjoyed doing arts and crafts projects with the elderly. After lunch back at the base, they heard from a speaker who started a tikun olam project for Israelis traveling to India. In the evening, after dinner, they got to hear from Neil Lazarus, who talked to everyone about the current Arab-Israeli conflict followed by some free time.

July 25, 2012

Group 5 left the north this morning and made their return to Jerusalem to tour the Old City. They began the tour at the Israel museum at the model of the city of Jerusalem from the time of the Second Temple period.  They toured through the remains from the Second Temple period and enjoyed some free time and a tasty lunch at the Jewish quarter. The group then walked to Robinson’s arch and the Southern Wall excavations and ended their day with mincha at the Kotel. They returned to base to enjoy dinner and an evening shiur with Rabbi Paul Freedman followed by a gender bonding program.

July 24, 2012

Group 5 started their day at a beautiful overlook of Haifa. Then they went to the Usafia Druze Village where they were hosted to a kosher and delicious Druze meal, which is one of the food highlights of the summer. They learned more about the Druze religion and the unique rules in the small community. Their next stop was the ancient city of Acco. There they had the chance to explore a crusader fortress. From Acco they headed to Rosh Hanikra where they walked through beautiful grottos that were formed by water hitting the rocks for hundreds of years. In the evening, they returned to kibbutz Hannaton and to enjoy free time.

July 23, 2012

This morning the group visited Metula, which has a scenic overlook to Lebanon, followed by a second stop overlooking Trumpeldor memorial. Then they went for a pleasant walk through water in Tel Dan, followed by a delicious pizza lunch. In the afternoon they had an awesome time kayaking in the Jordan river and then visit Kibbutz Neot Mordechai where they had the opportunity to try on and purchase sandals at the famous Naot factory. Once returning to base, the group had a great Social Action/Tikun Olam program.

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