Group 6: Eastern Europe/Israel Pilgrimage

July 17,2013

The group began their morning with an amazing overlook in the upper Gallilee-  Metula. They then continued with a pleasant hike at Nahal Snir before setting out to river rafting down the Jordan River. This was a great experience and everyone enjoyed splashing around in the water. They visited Kibbutz Naot Mordechai, where the famous Naot shoes are manufactured, and then spent a wonderful night in Tiberias before returning to their base.

 

July 15, 2013

The group started off their morning with a refreshing hike on Mt. Meron, the highest  Mountain in the Galilee.  They then went to Rosh Hanikra and they walked through beautiful grottos that were formed by water hitting the rocks for hundreds of years. They made their way to Akko and went on a tour of the Old Prison Museum and learned about the underground organizations that existed before 1948. Later, they returned to Poriyah to prepare for Tisha Be’av.

July 14, 2013

The group met up after the wonderful free weekend and  headed to Haifa, went to an overlook in the Baha’i Gardens, and saw a beautiful view of Haifa. This was followed by lunch at the Usafia Druze Village, where they were hosted to a kosher and delicious Druze meal –no doubt one of the food highlights of the summer. They learned more about the Druze religion and the unique rules in the small community. They also enjoyed a unique experience walking through the Druze Shuk. They then headed to Kfar Kedem for donkey riding before making their way to Poriyah, where they will be enjoying a fun evening activity and staying overnight.

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

This morning the group headed to the City of David to learn more about the First Temple period. Their highlight was walking through Hezekaya’s Tunnel, a water aqueduct that brought water to the city during the time of King Hezekayah (700 BCE). They had a wonderful time walking through the water! They then spent some time at the Kotel before  heading to  the Jewish Quarter for a tour. The group then returned to the Fuchsber Center where they had their final practice for Ha’event, followed by a shiur with Rabbi Paul Friedman. They all had a wonderful first day in Israel and are all excited for Ha’event tomorrow.

 

July 9, 2013

The group arrived safely in the Holy Land! They headed straight to the Fuchsburg Center in Jerusalem where they will be staying for the next few nights, to have a much-needed nap and time to settle down. They had a very relaxing afternoon in which a very special guest, Rabbi Dave Levy, Director of USY,  spoke to the group. Tonight the group will be going on a short tour of the neighborhood before having an early bed time and waking up bright and early.

 

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