Laser tag and Latrun
What another fun day in Ein Tzurim – we woke up to a delicious breakfast; scrambled free range eggs, gooey Cinnamon rolls, mouthwatering French toast, and much more. Who knew Kibbutz food was so yummy?! After Chevrutas we made our way to laser tag and the tank museum at Latrun. The tank museum was pretty cool – we took many pictures on the army tanks so make sure to check those out. Laser tag was so much fun. It felt like real army practice since it was outdoors. Zevik our Israeli guard destroyed everyone – Yoni did come close though and won 2 of the games. We just went to the super market to get snacks for Shabbat and now we are back in the Kibbutz getting ready for Shabbat. Although it’s our last Shabbat, I still can’t wait to spend it with all my close friends.
Today was a crazy day filled with all different types of activities and programs! Our first stop was to a dairy farm where we got to learn how to make cheese, play with goats, and taste different types of dairy products! Even the people who were lactose intolerant had fun!
We then headed to Tel-Aviv where we had an amazing pasta lunch in a park outside the independence hall. Our group learnt about the rich history of the Independence Hall in addition to what lead the leaders of Israel did to declare Israel’s independence. It was really exciting to be in the same room that Ben Gurion said his famous words back in 1948.
After Independence Hall, we all put on our hats, grabbed our water and wallets and went on a tour of the old city of Yafo. The city’s beautiful ports and vintage artwork added to the already amazing afternoon – even though we were all really sweaty.
While the first few activities were really fun, the main event of the day was Yom NCSY! Yom NCSY is a day where all the NCSY summer programs come together for a large BBQ and concert. During Yom NCSY we were all able to meet up with old friends on different summer programs, eat really good food and dance the night away at the “rave”. It was really cool to see that even though we were all on different summer programs and wearing different colored shirts, every program came together as one NCSY community.
My name is Abbie Talmoud, I am in the Greater Washington chapter in Atlantic Seaboard. I am writing the blog for Tisha Be’Av. Monday July 31, 2017 started Tisha Be’Av, we got back to Ein Tzurin were we prepared for the fast to begin. At 8pm we all met back in the Shul were we heard/read Aichah. After that we watched a clip about why the Bais Hamikdash was destroyed. It said that it was destroyed because Jews did not love one another and that every kind of Jew basically mistreated each other ultimately causing the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash. After that Yoni had us write on a piece of paper all the things we love and all of our hopes and dreams. Once we had done that our Advisors collected them and we went outside where there was a fire started. Ahava walked up to the fire with our notes and threw them in as she did this Yoni told us that this resembled what it was like when we lost the Beis Hamikdash. The loss of clarity. The night continued with singing slow songs around the fire. Then we heard a story from another advisor Shlomo, who elaborated on what the clip had spoken about. He said that we as Jews need to love each other no matter what. We then sang Acheinu where it really touched all of our hearts. The floor was then opened up to anyone who wanted to speak. Some people spoke about different struggles they had gone through in this past year and how they lost some faith but because of this program they where able to gain it back and become stronger Jews. The following morning we got up for Shacharit and kinot. Once we finished Shacharit we read/ heard the kinot but not all of them. Each Advisor went through one or two explaining them to us and giving us some sort of story behind it to help us better connect to what we were saying. After that we had the chance to sleep which we all took advantage of! At 4:30pm we woke up and went to Mincha and then got on the bus for the kotel. The Kotel is always an amazing experience. It is probably one of my favorite places. From the top of the stairs near the menorah we looked down at the kotel where there was 1000s of Jews and NCSYers sitting on the ground in 2 big circles. We walked down the stairs and immediately joined the circles. This was probably the most amazing feeling ever. All different NCSY programs, different Jews and non Jews just sitting in concentric circles singing and crying over the Beis Hamikdash and all the other terrible things that happened on this day. At 8pm the singing was over and everyone went to say Mariv. After Mariv we were taken to a restaurant to break our fast at this really good dairy place called Gregs. We all ate and went back to Ein Tzruin and went to sleep. This was definitely the most meaningful Tisha Be’Av for me and I am very grateful to have spent it with my new family on Israel ID.
Lots of love,
Tel Aviv and Wietzman Museum
What a wonderful start to our day. We began our day with chaburahs and talked about Emunoh (faith) and that if we have faith in God, bad situations can start to seem good. After, we took a bus to tel aviv and walked around the shuk. It was very cool to see different types of people and foods. After the Shuk, we went to the beach and played team-building games. After eating lunch, we went to the water purifying factory, Shafdan and learnt about how water is purified. Lastly, we went to the Weitzman institute, where we were able to experience physics first hand. Overall, another great day!
– MD and Meital
Shabbos in Jerusalem
What an incredible shabbos! Our first shabbos back together was a great one as we started off davening Kabbalas Shabbos at the kotel, my first time ever doing so. We had dinner at Aish and walked though Ben Yehudah street back to the Crowne Plaza hotel to hear some inspiring dvar Torah from our very own Rav Yaakov. Shabbos day after davening, we played some intense games of mafia followed by a great lunch. During the afternoon break, besides sleeping, I read the book “Pathway to Prayer” and felt that it really enhanced my davening especially my mariv shemonei esrei that night which was preceded by a meaningful ebbing and stories shared by Rachel Sherin and Natan Sredni. I hope that our last shabbos next week will be as meaningful as this past one.
Today has been really fun! First we went to Gan Soccer where we began with learning in our Chaburahs about Emunah, this weeks theme. Then we had the choice of playing frisbee, basketball , soccer or just hanging out on the playground. For our next stop, we headed to Ma’ashearim where we all chose out a Sefer or book of our choice. We ended our day at the Shook where we got to experience what a Friday at Machane Yehudah. This week has been an incredible week in Jerusalem and I can’t wait to see what next week brings!
Chevron & Oz Vagaon
Today was a GREAT DAY! We started off our day traveling to Chevron. We visited Mearat Hamachpela and learned a little bit about the importance of not taking anything for free, how Abraham Avinu made sure to pay for this gravesite for his family, who was buried there and we were able to daven in this really holy place. We also went to Kever Rachel and learned about her and why she was buried separately from the rest of her family and we learned about the political significance of her graves location in Chevron which was really interesting. To end the day we had a lesson on Krav Maga and were able to learn a few fighting techniques to defend ourself and others around us. This activity was also connected to working the land in a park dedicated to the three boys, Gilad, Ayal and Naftali, who were kidnapped and killed two summers ago. Protecting our friends and our land were a big part of yesterday’s lessons and it was a good day to reflect on things that are worth preserving and fighting for.
Yad V’Shem and Har Hertzel
Wow, what an incredible day! We started off with a delicious breakfast at the hotel. Then I almost missed our bus to yad vashem, which would’ve been a shame
because it was a really meaningful experience. We separated into two groups and began our tour through the amazing museum. I learned so much about the Holocaust, from the lives of the Jews before, all the way until their lives post-holocaust. To me, the most touching experience was when we went through the children’s memorial. Hearing the names and stories of the innocent Jewish children who were murdered brought tears to my eyes. Then we went to Har Hertzel which is a cemetery for fallen soldiers and people killed during terrorist attacks in Israel. Zevik told us about his incredibly courageous best friend, Yoval who was killed protecting israel. Then I had time to walk around and see each grave. When I saw the smiling faces of the soldiers and the memories of the soldiers that their loved ones left on their graves, it reminded me how lucky I am to be part of the Jewish people. These soldiers didn’t hesitate to give their lives so that we can live together in our land, that we suffered through the Holocaust and many wars to get. I’m so happy we had such a moving and meaningful day, and I am super exited to end it walking around Ben Yehuda.
Israel ID had EILAT of fun
שלום to all those reading!
My name is Shlomo Amsellem and I am part of the amazing team we call the NCSY ISRAEL ID Staff. I just wanted share some of the incredible experiences and fun activities that we have done over this past week. As we parted from the north we took a short detour into the dessert where we received the full Bedouin experience. We started with camel riding and then spoke with a true Bedouin about his lifestyle and experience. After eating there food and spending the night in their tents we woke up bright and early to watch the sunrise at the top of Masada. Thanks to our amazing tour guide Sapir the NCSYers really felt connected and inspired by the story of Masada. Afterwards we had the opportunity to play in the water a bit as we hiked עיו גדי, followed by our visit to the one and only Dead Sea. After the NCSYers had the full Dead Sea experience we headed down to the south were we had Eilat waiting for us, where had three days of fun to come. Without missing a beat, we headed straight to the boardwalk after settling down at our hotel; where the NCSYers shopped, ate, walked, and some even went on a giant sling shot into the sky, but that was only the beginning of the fun as the next day we were beach bound all day. We started the day with tefila and learning groups, as usual, having nothing but water sports and a cruise ship ride planned for the day. We had the opportunity to go banana boating, tubing, kayaking and paddle boating. However we weren’t done there, so we went to cool off a bit and “chill” in the Eilat ice mall where we all went ice skating. The ice skating became a little bit of a snow ball fight, but it was amazing to see all the achdus amongst the NCSYers as all those who didn’t know how to skate quickly learned as they received the aid of their friends. We are going to miss everyone over this shabbos but we hope they enjoy visiting family and friends and are looking forward to seeing them next week in Jerusalem!!!
Masada, Ein Gedi & Eilat
Hey everybody today we woke up too early to watch an amazing sunrise while walking up Masada. When we got to the top we prayed overlooking an unbelievable view. We heard about what took place on this historic place. After which we rode a cable car back down where we had some breakfast. The sun was already up so it got really hot really fast. We quickly made our way to Ein Gedi for a water hike and next to the Dead Sea. After floating in the salty water we took a long drive to our next destination, Eilat. I don’t think anyone stayed awake for that drive considering our exhausting day. When we got back to the hotel we got to walk to a near by mall to have some free relaxing time.
– Sophie Weller