JOLT Israel
Day #9 – Zichron Menachem

Shalom NCSY JOLT Israel family!!!

If I could paint today for you it would be the most beautiful mural you have ever seen.  The colors would mesh together and blend beautifully and perfectly into one another. This morning after davening and breakfast we organized our stuff and started to get ready for the arrival of our Zam Zam kids. One of the things that I spoke ot the kids about is the fact that people generally tend to gravitate towards the "big ticket" Chesed items. I understand it and I understand the draw. However, we need to to remember that our population that we are working with are the MOST vulnerable. They are 8 and 9 year olds who are taking care of their families and cooking dinner for their siblings and putting the younger ones on the buses while the parents sleep in the hospital with their sick sibling. Taking these kids and giving them a week of just fun is the biggest chesed and one that we should be extremely proud of. 

The energy was building and we did our own pump up impromptu separate dance party to get ready for when the kids come. We waited for them and as they pulled up we had cotton candy waiting for them and a speaker to blast music. We created a human tunnel and danced and sang with them. I thought I would get used to it for the second year but I still stood on the side and cried. It's raw emotion and something that you just can't understand unless you experience it.

We brought all the kids into our multipurpose room and after some quick introductions we ate lunch and then made our way to the busses for our first excursion to Jeep riding in the Golan. The kids loved it!! 

Upon return we ate dinner, davened and met for a little bit where Rabbi Rosenfeld and I had the opportunity to debrief with the kids and talk about heir reflections of the day. 

Tomorrow is another action packed day and I am excited to write to you and tell you all about it. Today we watched children emerge as young adults. We saw people who have broken down barriers and are learning to respect and love unconditionally.  This is very healthy development and they will continue to emerge more rapidly throughout this well. We look forward to what the future brings. 

With warmest wishes

-Rabbi Weinberg

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