Group 5: Israel Pilgrimage/Poland Seminar (2nd Departure)
July 2, 2014
The group woke up this morning for their first full day in Poland. They visited the Warsaw Ghetto Walls and continued to the Walk of Heroes, which begins at the Rapaport Monument and highlights sites such as Mila 18, the bunker that acted as headquarters during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising . From there, the group visited the Umschlagplatz, which was the collection point in the Warsaw Ghetto for Jews to be deported. From there they began their long drive to Lublin where they visited the Majdanek Concentration Camp. Majadanek is almost completely intact, and many of the USYers found exploring the camp, and seeing how it might have felt to be there when it was operational, to be very shocking and powerful. Later in the evening, they had a relaxing yet fun evening doing some ice breakers before heading to bed.
July 28, 2013
The group started their final day at Yad Lekashish, a non-profit based in Jerusalem that provides employment and social services to over 300 elderly artisans. They had one last visit to the wonderful Ben Yehuda street. Then, they back to base to pack and prepare 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 summer. At the end of their night, they loaded the buses and headed to the airport. We know that Group 5 had an amazing summer and look forward to returning to Israel again soon!
July 26, 2013
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. One last Shabbat filled with singing, learning, ruach, bonding and lots of fun! Shabbat Shalom!
July 25, 2013
The group had a wonderful and spiritual start to their morning with shacharit on the beach of Bat Yam. They then returned to Jerusalem and visited Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. After that, they visited 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 and heard personal stories form the Israeli staff themselves. This was a very interesting yet emotional experience for them. The group made their way back to the Fuchsberg Center for a funny evening of drama games before another exciting activity- a Maccabia event held filled with great performances at the Sultan’s Pool in Jerusalem.
The group spent their day in Tel Aviv. First, they went to Independence Hall to learn about the Declaration of Independence by David Ben Gurion in 1948. Following that, they went on a tour of the beautiful Old Jaffa and passed the flea market. The group headed to Rabin Square ,”Kikar Rabin”, the site Yitzchak Rabin’s (a previous Prime Minister of Israel) final hours, as he went to a peace rally and was then assassinated. They also visited the Olympic Museum where they learned about the Olympic Games and Israeli participation in the Olympic Games over the years, a really cool museum! Tonight they will have some free time in the famous Azreili Mall in Tel Aviv and will be sleeping over in Bat Yam.
July 23, 2013
The group began their morning with a pleasant hike at Shvil hapisga where they learned some Israeli history and about their situation with Lebanon. They then made their way to Rosh Hanikra and they through beautiful grottos that were formed by water hitting the rocks for hundreds of years. The group returned to Hannaton for some free time and some swimming before their exciting Gadna/Army evening program which will be run by their Israeli staff!
The group started their morning at the memorial site of the helicopter crash in Shaar Yishuv, where two Israeli helicopters crashed in 1997. 73 Israeli soldiers were tragically killed. They then headed to Nahal Snir and did a refreshing water hike before they went river rafting down the Jordan River in Kfar Blum. This was undoubtedly one of the most awesome experiences! They returned to Hannaton where they will be having a fun drummer’s circle this evening!