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

July 12, 2012

This morning group 5 went to Dialogue in the Dark; they were led by an experienced tour guide who was blind through darkness. 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 5 left the desert this morning and headed to Tel Aviv! They visited Kikar Rabin, the site of Yitzchak Rabin’s final hours, as he went to a peace rally and was then assassinated. Then they went to Independence Hall, where David Ben Gurion declared Israel an independent country. They ate lunch and went to an Israeli mall to cool down, enjoy some shopping and free time. From there, they headed to the Olympic museum. This evening they will eat dinner and head to the base to do some final Ha’event practice before the big day tomorrow!

July 10, 2012

Group 5 had an awesome and exhausting day: they woke up at 3:45am to hike Masada at sunrise. On top of Masada they davened a spiritual shacharit and participated in a great learning session as well. They had breakfast at the Ein Gedi youth hostel and took a stroll to the pool in Ein Gedi where they got to spend some time in the fresh water spring. After that, they headed to the dead sea and got to put mud on themselves and go into the water and float! Then they had lunch and headed Arad to rest and have some Haevent practice before enjoying dinner and a short evening program.

July 9, 2012

The group headed to the negev this morning and started their day with a visit to Ben Gurion’s grave. Then they went for a walk in Ein Ovdat, practiced for Haevent and visited Ben Gurion’s home. After, they headed to Arad for more Haevent practice and an evening of gender bonding.

July 8, 2012

Group 5 broke up into three different groups for shacharit this morning. There was a learners minyan, a Movie/Tv show minyan and a personal prayers minyan. Everyone enjoyed the one they attended. Then they started their day at the City of David to learn about the First Temple period. The highlight was walking through Hezekayah’s Tunnel, a water aqueduct that brought water to the city during the time of King Hezekayah (700 BCE). They had a wonderful time splashing in the water! Then they walked to the Old City for some free time filled with food and shopping. After, they headed south to go ride camels. On the way they stopped off to eat lunch and practice for Haevent. In the evening they will do a fun program and enjoy a bonfire!

July 6, 2012

This morning group 5 did an archeological dig at Tel Maresha, where they opened the door to the past and found ancient artifacts! They also engaged in some intense dialogue about Israel’s history. Then they went spelunking, which is the exploration of caves in ancient tunnels. They ate lunch, went swimming at Beit Guvrin and headed to Mahane Yehuda – the open market in Jerusalem where there are plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and delicious treats. Finally, they returned to base to prepare for their second Shabbat together. Shabbat shalom!

July 5, 2012

Group 5 landed early this morning in Israel! Everyone immediately headed to their rooms at the base in Jerusalem to nap for a few hours before eating lunch. Then they headed to Yemin Moshe, which has a wonderful overlook of Jerusalem and the Old City, did a l’chaim and said the sh’hecheyanu blessing. After, they broke up into two groups and did a short walking tour of Jerusalem followed by a fun scavenger hunt on Ben Yehuda Street. Then they had some free time to hang out in Gan Ha’atzmaut, where they played some Frisbee and enjoyed getting to know one another more. Once they returned to base they enjoyed a delicious BBQ and headed back to Ben Yehuda street for shopping and eating!

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