JOLT Israel
NCSY JOLT Israel!!! Absolutely Awesome Day #11
Good Evening Heilige Parents of NCSY JOLT Israel'ers, I hope this email finds you well. Let me begin by thanking you all for the amazing feedback that I am receiving regarding JOLT Israel and from you in general. Keep the comments coming!! Today was something like I have never seen before!! We had an early davening specifically so that we could sit together and have a nice breakfast. The food was so crazy out of this world. Fresh belgian waffles, pancakes, eggs, omelet station, smoothie station, fish, salads, potatoes, bourekas, fresh delicious bread, cakes and different fresh cheeses made on the kibbutz!!! The kids couldn't get over it (neither could I)! It was awesome! After breakfast we made some last minute changes, reviewed protocol and waited for our kids buses to arrive! The first one came early and we were set to go! When the kids came from Zichron Menachem and the bus pulled up, we ran up to the front door and made a human tunnel, we blasted music, we sang for the kids as they stepped off and we danced with them. Some of them were scared, some were overwhelmed and some of them were laughing and giggling. It was amazing. The energy level was high, our NCSY JOLT Israel kids were fantastic and it could not have gone smoother. Every child from Zichron Menachem comes with a story and tales of sadness but our focus is only happiness and that is exactly what we did. With singing and cheers we made sure that there were only smiles and laughter. After bringing all the luggage in, we broke up into bunks and everyone got to know each other. From there we went to lunch, which was awesome and then outside for some amazing activities. After those activities had the campers bring their stuff to their rooms and we met as a team. We reviewed the day and spoke about what was to come. Following Mincha we had our activities and then finished the day with changing eating (again) and an awesome night activity….Disco Gaga!! After Maariv, we had a review of the day meeting with all of our JOLT Israel'ers and advisors. I focused on the fact that leadership is learning to take in the sights around us and learning to be part of a solution rather than creating an issue. We focused on time management and maintaining structure. I gave them specific examples of how easy things could fall apart if we don't follow directives and go rouge. It was an important conversation and I made it clear to them that if they want to be leaders than they need to be open to hearing feedback also. Sometimes the feedback is feel good, like the way they interacted with the kids from Zichron Menachem today. And sometimes the feedback is critical (in a soft and clear way) such as when kids thought it would be fun to almost start a water fight instead of stay with their bunks. That conversation of being aware of immediate surroundings and responsibility is super important for our kids to hear. We are talking about real future leaders and I want to help shape and sculpt them to be the best they can be. With love and caring and with clearly articulated goals and feedback. This evening Michael Goldman one of our awesome advisors gave an amazing Shiur which had a really awesome turnout of kids who just wanted to learn Lishma! How awesome is that!! In short, today exceeded all expectations. I can't tell you how impressed both Rabbi Rosenfeld and I are, of our JOLT Israel'ers. You should be proud to be their parents! I will share one personal thought with you as I reflect upon today and this si actually something that my wife Nechama mentioned so I echo her words. Our camp is a mixture of all different types of kids. Some Charaeidi, some regular Orthodox, non-observant, traditional…All different types. But the thing that really gets me is that fact that were it not for cancer, their paths would most probably never have crossed. And yet, here they are playing together, laughing together, hugging each other and becoming the closest of friends. We should be blessed to see and be part of a Jewish community, that does not require tragedy to bring it together, but rather the simple love that brothers and sisters share for each other. On that note, I always love hearing from parents so please respond and let me know your thoughts. Please make sure that you follow all of our pictures and videos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Tomorrow is going to be another amazing and food filled day, I mean fun filled day…Well actually I meant both!! Can't wait :-) Have a great night -Rabbi Weinberg  
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