JOLT Israel
Our Last Shabbos in Artzeinu HaKedosha

Dear NCSY JOLT Israel Family,

I am writing to you from Kibbutz Alumim shortly before our last shabbos together in Israel. We are staying in this picturesque Kibbutz together, as a family, away from distractions and other people. It allows us to focus on ourselves for one last meaningful Shabbos together. This past week was amazing. It was the culmination of everything that we tried so hard to instill in the kids and Baruch Hashem it was beyond my greatest hopes. 

This week we got a taste of some amazing things unique in large part to our program. We spent time in Har Hertzel, Caving in Bar Kochba caves and bike riding in the Shfela (lowlands) near Beit Shemesh. We went down South to do the Shvil HaSalat and spent time Erev Tisha B'Av at the Gush Katif Museum which was amazing. Eicha and Kumsitz at the Horodion which was an amazing experience for all of us. I spoke a bit and so did Rabbi Rosenfeld. We focused on the unique history of the place as well as why it was so important to be there. Tisha B'Av we did our own thing in the morning and then had an awesome shiur on leadership from Rabi Gabbi Weinberg from the Tikvah fund. We had free time and then loaded the buses to Jerusalem to join all the NCSY groups at an amazing Kumsitz. We broke our fast by the bus and then went to the Yekev winery for a delicious break-fast! I explained to the kids that the reason why it was such an amazing thing to go there was because, places in the Gush suffer from the recent wave of violence. We are blessed to help give someone Parnassah as an act of Chesed immediatly following Tisha B'Av!! Soo Powerful!

On Wednesday we went grape picking in Lachish and learned about Terumah and Maaser as well as how our holy forefather in Israel used to make wine! We continued to Tel Aviv and went to Beit Hatefutzot for a brand new exhibition on leadership, spent some time in the mall after that and then went to YOM NCSY! It was awesome! From YOM NCSY we loaded the bus and drove down to Eilat. We got to the hotel, slept for a few hours and then did water sports and boat rides to the middle of the Red Sea to go swimming! We spent some free time on the boardwalk and then this morning woke up super early for an amazing, optional hike up Har Tzfachot. From there we went to Kibbutz Lotan which is an Eco freindly Kibbutz in the Arava. We continued to drive up to Alumim which is a beautiful Kibbutz Dati in the South. 

I am so excited to spend Shabbos together with the kids but I am sad that this is our last time (before the reunion!!!) They were an amazing group of kids and I am blessed to have become close with each and every one of them. I am looking forward to a shabbos of love and warmth as are the kids. 

I wish you a sweet and healthy Shabbos from the Holy land.

With warmest wishes

-Rabbi Weinberg

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