JOLT Israel
NCSY JOLT Israel Days #11,12,13 Amazing Few Days!!

My Dear NCSY JOLT Israel Family,


I hope this email finds you all well. So many amazing things have happened in the three days since we have spoken last. I am so excited to share them with you all. I, together with our AMAZING advisors have had the chance to really bond and connect with all of your children. They are each so amazing in their own way. They add so much to our program and I am thrilled that each and every person joined us for the summer. It’s crazy to think that we are already half way done with the summer. I told Nechama that one of my greatest Zechusim working with NCSY summer is to add to the number of children that we have. The Sifrei in Parshas V’Eschanan says “HaTalmidim Kruim Banim..V’Harav Karui Av” The students are called children and the teacher is called a parent. It’s my Zechus to have so many amazing children and I am honored in our short time together, to partner together with our parents!


The relationships that we have all made together and with our campers are strong and I think it is fair to say that we have all grown a tremendous amount thus far. We still have several days with our Simcha Layeled camp but the impact that it has had on each and every one of us to date is remarkable. More about that on Wednesday.


Shabbos was beautiful. We prefaced davening with our picture time (A very important and serious facet of our program), which led into a Leibadig pre-Shabbos ruach. We joined together with our NCSY BILT brothers for a rocking Kabbolas Shabbos and Maariv. The new director of BILT was an advisor for me on JOLT Israel our first year and his amazing wife was a superstar advisor for me on JOLT Israel last summer. (Just saying there may be some serious Segulah power being an advisor on JOLT Israel)… The Seudah was awesome and we had a wonderful Tish led by Ben and Rachel (dressed up like a Chissidishe Rebbe and Rebbitzen). Shabbos morning we started davening late so as to give everyone a bit more time to sleep. After davening Simcha LaYeled provided an amazing Kiddush! Seriously even by New York standards…I mean it wasn’t Fleishig but it was awesome! I told them next year herring, liver, hard salami and Cholent….We can only hope. Following lunch we davened Mincha and then everyone had free time. Some stayed to learn in Rachel’s Mishnayos Chaburah, others chilled with the Advisors, and others spent time with me speaking about current and relevant topics in Judaism. At 5:00 there was an optional walk with the Simcha Layeled kids around the reservoir. For those who chose not to go on the walk, there were mandatory learning groups. As I said to the kids, “Al Shlosha Divarim HaOlam Omeid. Torah, Avodah and Gemilus Chasadim.” If you’re not doing one you need to be doing the other. So either chesed or Torah. At 6:00 we all came together and our JOLT Israel kids ran games for Simcha LaYeled this took us to Shalashudis. We came together for singing, ebbing, Maariv and a beautiful Havdalah.


Follwing Havdalah our JOLT Israel kids ran back to their rooms and got shtick for what was to be an amazing dance and Pizza party with Simcha LaYeled! It was awesome!!! Simcha Ad Lev HaShamayim!  


Sunday was a full day! We started out with an awesome jeep ride that took us off the beaten path and allowed us to see Israel that is not accessible to most!  After “jeeping” we had lunch (fresh pasta and salads) then we made our way to a gentle water hike which was a relief from the blazing hot sun. The hike called Majrase is an amazing little excursion and one which makes you realize how amazing it is to have these fresh springs of cool water coming out of the dry parched earth. From there we went on a boat ride on the Kinneret. Boys in one boat and girls in the other, the Simcha Layeled kids were laughing and dancing and that made it all worth it! We returned to Chispin and had another amazing evening of night activities and hanging out.


I digress for a moment to say how refreshing it is to see young frum boys and girls speaking to each other and spending time together in a healthy and wholesome atmosphere. It’s so important and it’s something which I try and call attention to. No worries about any negative behaviors Bli Ayin Harah, just frum kids enjoying each other and being kids.


Today was another awesome day. We spent time in a chocolate factory with the younger kids. And we all met up at Tel Dan for a quick and gentle hike with a little pool of water for a water fight of course! For those brave souls who wanted to go on a 10-minute excursion, we walked with Yoel to actually see the ancient city of Leshem. Leshem was actually taken over by Shevet Dan who set up a Mizbeich there. The ruyins still visible till today. It’s actually pretty awesome. Many of the original structures still standing! The Mizbeach is actually a Machlokes as to whether to not it was Avodah Zarah. A complicated issue during a complicated and conflict filled time period. It’s really awesome when you think about it. Mamesh every step one takes in Artzeinu HaKedosha is like being in a time machine and being transported back to different eras. It’s living history!  


From there we headed to Har Bental. We heard an important presentation from Yoel as to the strategic importance of the Golan Heights and about its history. We also heard some of the very clear stories of Yad Hashem during Israel’s wars with the neighboring Arab countries.  Visible in the background were plumes of smoke from targeted Syrian strikes and the sounds of gunfire and bombing. These are all the unfortunate sounds and sights of the reality of a horrible civil war that has ravished a once beautiful country and is still raging there.   


Tonight, we had a scrumptious Milichig dinner and then movie night! The greatest showman and fresh popcorn! The kids loved it and sang along during the whole movie.


Tomorrow is another exciting day and I look forward to speaking with you then.

Have a wonderful evening.  



Rabbi Dr. Noam Weinberg

Director, NCSY JOLT Israel

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