JOLT Israel
NCSY JOLT Israel!!! Absolutely Awesome Day #19

Dear Heilige Parents and NCSY JOLT Israel’ers,

I hope this email finds you well. Last we left off, we were traveling up to Avnei Eitan which is a beautiful Moshav up in the Golan. We stayed in an awesome campsite called “Kfar Indiani”, there are air-conditioned Teepees, bungalows called “Tzimmereim” and large round sweat lodge looking things. Boys had one and girls had the other. After getting everything set, we went to dinner, which was solid! We ate hot dogs, schnitzel, rice, roasted potatoes and salads. We walked back to our respective “sweat lodges” and started to build a bonfire. After several attempts and thanks to the hard work of Rabbi Rosenfeld and Josh Weiner, we got a roaring fire going. As a group/family we sat together around the fire and began to debrief from our very emotional and fulfilling eight days, (24 hours a day) of running “Macheneh Hachi Achi”. First, I addressed the kids followed by Rabbi Rosenfeld who was excellent! After we spoke from the heart, we opened the floor to the kids to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences. No one was forced to speak and everyone understood that it was a safe environment to share ideas and memories. Many of the kid’s spoke, some just listened but everyone was moved! This de-brief went on for about two hours and we segued into telling funny and heartwarming stories about our ZAM ZAM campers.

After finishing this important program, we stayed up, hung out around the fire and some people went to sleep. Wake up was early this morning and we davened outside as the sun rose to the East. We ate breakfast, packed up and loaded the buses. We were leaving the North for the rest of our time here in Israel.  Just so you understand, our Tochnit said we were going to be hiking “Nakik HaShachor”- Black Canyon. However, the parks authority closed this trail due to extreme heat. The kids took it in stride and we did the next best thing…we took them water-skiing in Tel Aviv!!!

Of course, we couldn’t be in Tel Aviv and not visit Heichal HaAtzmaut-Independence Hall. This is the place where it all went down in 1948. It was actually one of the better presentations I heard from all the groups that I have taken there. We learned about the history and establishment of the modern State of Israel. After leaving we got delicious burgers for lunch. I guess everyone was hungry because the burgers went quickly J

After lunch we went to a very nice exhibit and explanation of old Tel Aviv. There were pictures and videos that helped to explain the very interesting history of this city. We loaded the busses and went waterskiing in Park Begin. Girls went first while the boys played Ultimate and then the boys went. It was awesome and perfect for today’s weather! Everyone had so much fun. There is nothing better then seeing the kids smiling and laughing.

We made our way back to our new home for the next few days in Yad Binyamin and the kids are in heaven. They are loving the open space, the simple but awesome accommodations and the tremendous basketball court.  Dinner was fantastic and we had really intensive and well presented learning sessions this evening. Of course as with almost every evening there is an optional shiur tonight. So lots of learning going on and lots of good things happening. Most important of all is the growing that’s taking place spiritually, religiously, emotionally and of course as leaders.

Tomorrow we have an awesome day planned for down South and I can’t wait to share it together with the kids and then with you.

With warmest wishes from the Holy land,

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-Rabbi Weinberg

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