JOLT Israel
NCSY JOLT Israel Days #9,10 Keeps Getting Better!!!

My Dear NCSY JOLT Israel Family,

Sorry about not reaching out yesterday but it was totally exhausting and I didn’t stop things from my end until late into the night. So today I will recap yesterday AND today as we go into Shabbos Kodesh in Artzeinu HaKedosha.

Allow me to say that I am so thankful for all of the emails that the parents are sending, saying that the kids are having the best summer of their lives in addition to the personal vignettes of life changing experiences to date. It confirms what we all know but the accolades are beyond appreciated and I am always happy to receive them so that I can share them with my staff. It is gratifying to know that our hard work is recognized by parents and children alike!

Lastly, thank you to those parents who took me up on my offer to reach out and ask me for further clarification on my comments about the dangers of over communication between parent and child and especially the general disturbing trend of phone addiction. Phone addiction is something that I have been speaking to the kids about and I will continue to speak to them about. Chaval Chaval that so many of our youth stare at screens all day and let the beauty of the world pass them by. I reiterate my offer. Please feel free to reach out if you would like guidance on dealing with this issue or just general questions or comments.

Yesterday was our first full day with our camp. Chasdei Hashem, as predicted it was a home run. After davening and breakfast we loaded the busses for our first Tiyul of the day: Nachal Snir. It was a cute little water hike that began with an awesome water fight. No hike can ever be bad if it starts with a water hike lol. We finished the hike together with our campers and had pizza delivered to us. The pizza was great. Typical Israeli pizza, thick crust, sweet sauce and not enough cheese. After a hike any pizza tastes like New York pizza...JK. The kids were excited about it and there wasn’t one slice left over so I am happy that everyone enjoyed.  After lunch we took a 25-minute drive to Kfar Blum where we broke up into groups and rafted down the Chasbani River ultimately leading into the Jordan river. The “instructions” were to stay in the rafts….that lasted for about 5 minutes and then it got fun!! Jumping into rafts, pirating them, more water fights and tons of laughing!! There is no better sound for the soul than the laughter of Jewish children. Just enjoying wholesome time together.

From rafting we went back to the bus and then back to Chispin. We headed straight to the lunchroom so that we can eat our last meat meal prior to Shkiyah. It was worth the rush. Fries, hamburgers and salads were eaten and enjoyed. Following dinner, I gave everyone an hour to wash up and change for the night activity: Minute to Win It, led by Ben Book! The kids had an amazing time.

This morning we davened and after a Rosh Chodesh davening we had breakfast and then went to the nearby historic town of Katzrin. We broke up into groups and had a tour of what it was like to live in a village during the time of the Gemara. We made fresh grape juice…don’t ask how…and don’t as if we drank it…. We made fresh Pita, saw an actual olive press, sat in the shul that’s still standing and had the opportunity to see what an actual house looked like during those times. It was actually really interesting the way our guides wove Torah, Gemara and history into the tour. Following the tour we had fresh falafel delivered to us. Our Simcha LaYeled kids left back to Chispin so that they can meet up with a quick visit with their parents before Shabbos. You have to remember this type of construct if virtually foreign for Israeli families. They don’t send their kids away. So they there was an expectation to see their children before Shabbos. We will see if it is successful or if that piece needs to be tweaked for next year. In any event, after the Simcha LaYeled kids left we went to a supermarket so our kids could buy Nosh for Shabbos.

We are currently back in Chispin, everyone is doing their thing. Some kids are resting, others are playing with our campers, some are playing basketball and others are just relaxing in the gentle mountain breeze. In just a bit we are all going to get ready for Shabbos, followed by our group pictures and then a rocking pre-shabbos ruach. Then 25 hours of Shabbos. We have a lot of amazing things planned for everyone and our JOLT Israel kids are going to be taking a big lead on programing tomorrow which should be really nice.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a Kedusha filled Shabbos. Being that it is the beginning of the nine days, it is a perfect time for reflection and introspection. Chazal teach us that the second Beis HaMikdash was destroyed because of Sinas Chinam (Baseless hatred). I bless us all that Hashem looks down on every one of us who have been so involved in JOLT Israel, not the least of which are our participants, and sees that we are doing our part through love and happiness in bringing a Tikkun for this sin of hatred.

May we blessed to all meet together in 8 days from today in Yerushalayim so we can dance and sing together as we welcome Moshiach and enjoy the rebuilding of our third Beis Hamikdash. Amen Kein Yehi Ratzon.

Good Shabbos Good Shabbos


Rabbi Dr. Noam Weinberg

Director, NCSY JOLT Israel



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