Group 2: Israel Adventure Plus
July 18, 2013
The group began their morning at the Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, where the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, pronounced the Israel’s independence in 1948. They then made their way south, to Shvil Hasalat, a “High Tech” agriculture farm where they picked vegetables in a greenhouse and learned about agriculture in the desert. They headed to Mizpe Ramon next for some fun mountain repelling before making their way to set up their camps for their Desert Experience. The group will be spending their night in the beautiful nature enjoying a night of navigation and survival experiences.
July 17, 2013
The group began their morning at Kikar Rabin, the site of Yitzchak Rabin’s final hours, as he went to a peace rally and was then assassinated. After, they went to the Olympic Museum to learn about the Olympics and Israel’s participation in the Olympic Games over the years. Then they went to Dialogue in the Dark; they were led by an experienced tour guide who was blind, through darkness.. In the afternoon they visited Yaffo, toured around and had some free time to explore the beautiful area. In the evening the group participated in Café Dilema, an extremely fun program run by the staff.
July 15, 2013
The group started their day at the Herzl museum, located on Mount Herzl, and learned all about Herzl and his dreams. Then, they walked around Mount Herzl. It 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 Netanyahum and Michael Levin. Then the group went to Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, a very interesting yet emotional experience. They returned to the Fuchsberg Center and prepared for Tisha Be’av. The group will be davening in the Old City tonight together with Group 2 at the Robinson’s Arch with the Masorti/conservative community.
July 14, 2013
The group all met up after their free weekend and began their morning at Tel Maresha for an awesome archeological dig! They also engaged in an interesting dialogue about Israel’s history. Then they went spelunking, the exploration of caves in ancient tunnels. They arrived at Kibbutz Beit Guvrin and went for an amazing swim. After, they made their way back to the Fuchsberg Center for dinner and lots of fun tonight with some drama games!
July 12, 2013
Yesterday, the groups had a fantastic time hanging out with the other USYers at HaEvent. This morning, the USYers left for their Free Weekend. Some went to relatives while others stayed on base, but all were extremely excited for time to sleep and get refreshed for the busy week ahead. Shabbat Shalom!
July 11, 2013
Today, all six USY Israel Pilgrimage groups gathered together for their annual event called HaEvent. It was inspiring to see hundreds of USYers cheering and competing. Each group proudly wore a USY t-shirt in a different color. It was the first opportunity for all six groups to be together this summer. As USYers mingled with their friends from other groups, they did not have to look far to realize that their individual experiences this summer are a part of something much bigger than themselves. All of the spectators were amazed at each group’s creativity during the final competition that took place in the amphitheater in Mitzpe Modi’in. The enthusiasm was contagious as each group performed their original song and cheer. When the competition concluded, all of the groups sang Hatikva and gathered to sing and dance together as the USY Pilgrimage community. Before the USY event, we held for the SECOND time ever a gathering of all USY pilgrimage and Ramah seminar participants. There were over 600 kids and staff gathered at the JNF Park Canada. The program consisted of a study session, music and dancing. It was a great success!!
July 10, 2013
Group 2 continued with Gadna today. After the morning inspection and parade, they participated in many more army-related lessons. They are having a great time learning about different aspects of Israeli life, especially the army. They have learned how to rise to the challenge and with every day that passes, they improve in doing their exercises. Everyone is enjoying themselves immensely! The group will be spending their last night on base before heading out tomorrow to Ha’event. And, of course, they are all very excited for this big day!!