JOLT Israel
A Gitten Erev Shabbos From Chutz La’aretz
Dear NCSY JOLT Israel Family (Parents and Children), I hope this email finds you well. I am sitting here in my kitchen surrounded by Nechama, Ruchi, Ellie and Aviel but I am missing my other kids. Not just Atara who is by a friend in Great Neck and Dovi who stayed for his year in Israel, although I miss them tremendously too, but I am referring to 40 amazing teens from around the country (and one from Israel) who I miss so terribly. I may ramble a bit, but try to stay with me…..We set out at the beginning of the program with the goal of creating a family. That is exactly what we did. We legit created a family among the staff, among the kids and between each other. Success doesn't happen in a vacuum. It is the result of hard work and energy. Meeting new people, working with others that have different personalities, and trying to put it all together is never an easy feat. But we all worked together and made it happen. Every single one of you who came on NCSY JOLT Israel changed lives and had their lives changed. I have the most amazing memories with each and every one of you. Every day was a special and unique encounter with all of you. I feel so close to everyone and that's what makes these moments away from everyone so difficult for all of us. I have been walking around in a kinda fog like state. It's probably a healthy mix of exhaustion, jet lag, not wanting to go back to the real world and missing all of you so very much. So what do we do from here…How do we deal with getting back into life in America. So I will share with you the following idea that I believe to be true and it's also one of the things I share with my students each year when I come back from Poland with them. We have pictures, memories and gifts that we bought while we were in Israel. But this program was so much more than sightseeing and touring. It was about changing the lives of 57 children whose siblings are battling cancer. We gave them 9 days of fun and happiness to the point that they forgot what sadness meant. We changed the lives of their parents who were given a vacation for that time (the first time for some in years) and had the opportunity to focus on themselves which is so important. We did other forms of Chesed as well (I am not just talking about dumpster diving for Jack's Tefillin), we uprooted trees and cleared areas for a garden in the Oz V'gaon park, we ate our break fast meal in the Yekev winery so we can help give Parnasah to a Jew who needed. Those memories will stick with me forever. What about the awesome fun that we had waterskiing, rappelling, hiking, singing, bonfires and more bonfires….Who remembers the grape picking and bike riding, the water sports, the boat rides, and most importantly all the food, and more food, the breakfasts and more food! We literally ate our way through Israel. BTW- I lost 6 pounds….crazy right? I think my scale may be broken….. So what do we do now? We are each going into Shabbos with our respective families, but we leave behind our NCSY JOLT Israel family. My answer is if we each emerge from this summer as better people, more refined, more sensitive, more committed in whatever area it may be, then the time that we spent together remains with us forever. Those changes are what makes our memories tangible and what allow the time we spent together to exist and remain. On an aside, many of you have asked me what you can do to help JOLT Israel. The only thing I can say is talk about it with your friends and neighbors. Let people know that we did something amazing on this program. We are the first of a kids to do this! Let people know that we actually changed lives and that we became better people for it. Tell kids who are the right age for the program to come on it and be part of something truly unique and amazing! You are fantastic kids. Each and every one of you proved yourself to be amazing as individuals and as members of a larger group. You each took a leap of faith to join me and I hope that you got everything you hoped for. I want you to know that you will all forever hold a very special place in my heart. You will always be my children. If I can ever be of help in any way in the future, be it for a recommendation, help you with a job or to help you with anything please don't hesitate to reach out. I am here for you always.  Always This is not goodbye. This is hello to being part of a new family for the rest of our lives together! With love, -Rabbi Weinberg    
Visit JOLT Israel

© 2024 NCSY. All Rights Reserved.

Facebook Instagram instagram