Group 3: L’Takayn Olam

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

The group traveled this morning to  Tel Aviv. Once they arrived there,  they visited  Kikar Rabin, the site of Yitzchak Rabin’s final hours as he went to a peace rally and was then assassinated. The group took advantage of their free time there and practiced for Ha’event which is taking place tomorrow! From there, they headed to the Olympic Museum, where they learned about the Olympic Games and the Israeli’s participation in them over the years.They continued to Jaffa, where they spent some time touring and visiting the Jaffa flea market. The group headed to their hostel in Jaffa and had their final Ha’event practice before the big day!!

July 9,2013

The group had their final day at their volunteer placements today and  it was an emotional goodbye because some very good connections were made between the group and those they helped and spent time with throughout the week. They had lunch at their base, followed by a debriefing session where they shared their final thoughts about their volunteering work. The group then visited the Baha’I Gardens,  an overlook with  a beautiful view of Haifa. The group then had a session on social media and communication at their base, which they truly enjoyed! This evening, they will be doing a program on social justice and then heading out to an awesome festival which will be filled with many well-known Israeli singers and more!

July 8, 2013

The day began with the USYers heading off to their volunteer placements and enjoyed their second to last day there and they are happy to know they are making a difference. After that, the group headed to Yemin Orde Youth Village, a  home to more than 500 children from around the world. The children have all suffered trauma in their young lives from isolation and neglect, to abandonment and extreme. They learned about the history of the village and heard some personal stories first hand. Later on, the group had a special workshop on paper cutting – an opportunity to learn the basic aspects of an art that has been practiced by many Jewish communities for generations. Now, they too have this skill and can use it with other things in their volunteer activities!

July 7, 2013

The group began their morning at their volunteer placements. Then, they spent some time practicing for Ha’event which is just around the corner(Thursday!!). Later on, they had a wonderful opportunity to visit an Arab neighborhood, Kababir, and were able to meet with a group of Muslim youth and their leaders. This was followed by a tour of their mosque, which the pilgrims found extremely interesting. This evening they will be visiting the Grand Mall and enjoy a relaxing evening program.

July 5, 2013

This morning, the group made their way to the Science Museum, Madatemk, in Haifa and spent a few hours seeing the amazing things offered there! Then, they headed back to base for some free time and time to prepare for Shabbat. The group will be davening at the Masorti Synagogue in Haifa, where they will be joined with NOAM Chanichim, and Israeli teens that belong to the Israeli Conservative Movement. The group is very excited to be spending Shabbat in the beautiful north, davening, singing, learning, and relaxing together. Shabbat Shalom!

July 4, 2013

Today, the group split up into their different volunteer placements which included: Ofakim school, a school for kids with Cerebal Palsy, a children’s hospital in Ramban, the educational zoo in Haifa and a daycare for the elderly. They then returned to their hostel in order to practice for Ha’event, the main event with all the USY groups in Israel. After that, the group went on a walk around their neighborhood in Haifa and this evening they will be having a talk about the environment and Judaism.

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