Group 5: Israel Pilgrimage/Poland Seminar (2nd Departure)
July 19, 2013
The group began their morning in the mystical city of Tzfat. Among the many people who came from Tzfat are the prominent kabbalists, Isaac Luria and Moshe Kordovero. Besides the kabbalists, Tzfat also attracted numerous other Jewish scholars and spiritualists, including Joseph Caro, the author of the Shulchan Aruc,h and Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz, composer of the Shabbat hymn Lecha Dodi. The group had a tour of the city and two of the synagogues and enjoyed some free time to walk around, visit the candle factory, and the wonderful shuk. They then headed to Karei Deshe to prepare for another beautiful Shabbat together where they spent their time doing meaningful tfillot, learning, relaxing and having fun together as a group.
July 18, 2013
The group began their morning with a pleasant hike down Mt. Arbel followed by a memorable meal at Blue Beach Restaurant. They then enjoyed a refreshing swim in the beautiful Kinneret before heading to Kfar Kedem for some fun donkey-riding. In the evening they went to Kibbutz Hannaton, for a fantastic BBQ and swim shared with Groups 1 and 6.
July 17, 2013
The group enjoyed a creative shacharit this morning before heading to Druze Hospitality. They learned about the Druze culture, religion, and community and then ate a delicious, kosher Druzi meal. It is undoubtedly a food highlight of the trip. They then made their way to Haifa and went to the Baha’i Gardens for a magical view of the city. The group returned to their base for a fun separate boys and girls evening activity.
July 15, 2013
The group woke up after an night under the stars and continued on their adventure with another great hike in Mizpe Ramon. They then headed to Yerucham to learn about the life there and to experience the city. Later, they went to Arad where they will be staying for the next two nights, to prepare for Tisha Be’av.
July 14, 2013
The group met up after their fantastic free weekend and traveled south. They arrived in Sde Boker where they visited the house of the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, and then visited his tombstone. They learned about his dream to make the desert flourish, blossom, and build up a strong community in the South. They continued on to mountain repelling in Mitzpe Ramon and will then be beginning their Desert Experience ! They will spend the night camping out and sleeping under the stars all the while learning about navigation and survival. They are very excited for this night!
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!!