Girls Israel Volunteer Experience
Good Shabbos from Yerushalayim! (Week 5)

Dear Parents,

It’s hard to believe, but we are about to begin our last shabbos together here on NCSY GIVE.

The girls had a fun-filled and meaningful week, beginning with a tour of Chevron and Kever Rochel, where we had the opportunity to daven next to the graves of our patriarchs and matriarchs. From there we headed to Ben Yehuda for shopping and dinner, followed by a wild basketball game against Michlelet. Though we didn’t win, we had some awesome energy, team spirit and a rockin’ flashmob!

The next day we all headed to Tel Aviv for various chessed projects, from working alongside the blind in a factory to spending time with children waiting for heart transplants, from food packaging to working with the disabled, it was a packed day. AND the best was yet to come as that night was… YOM NCSY!! We all decked ourselves out in our NCSY GIVE gear (tshirts, bandanas, skirts and fanny packs) and headed to the most exciting evening of the summer! With all of the NCSY Summer Programs together, there were close to 1,000 NCSYers at the event, making for a record breaking turnout and a VERY fun night!

Tuesday morning we woke up tired, but excited for our journey down south. We crawled through the Bar Kochva tunnels, went camel riding (cool!) and settled into our Bedouin tent for the night. We woke up at 5 am the next day to daven on a nearby hilltop where we witnessed a breathtaking sunrise! After a delicious breakfast, we headed out to hike Massada, swim in the dead sea and visit Ein Gedi. There’s nothing quite like taking in all of the natural beauty in our holy land!

Thursday morning the group split into two.  Half of us visited a archaeological dig (“We Dig Israel!”), and the other half of us helped package Shabbos food for victims of terrorism at Ohr Meir U’Bracha.  From there we all headed to a once in a lifetime opportunity – being at a live taping of the Israeli version of Extreme Makeover Home Edition!  We had the privilege of witnessing an injured soldier and his wife receive a completely new handicapped-accessible home.  It was an incredibly moving experience, and it was also incredibly cool to be on Israeli TV.   Later that night we returned to Mevasseret to pack up our bags and prepared to say farewell to our summer home.  We ended off the evening with a meaningful program on healthy body image, followed by a mishmar led by Rabbi Felberman.

This morning, we loaded our buses one last time from Mevasseret and made our way to Jerusalem to work with an amazing organization called Aleh, which works with children with severe disabilities.  We then headed to Meah Shearim for some shopping and Erev Shabbos noshing (parve cholent and potato kugel- yum!), and are now settling into our hotel. We’re going to be davening at the kotel tonight with countless other Jews from all walks of life, and are eager to create a meaningful and spiritual final shabbos together with our GIVE family!

Can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Wishing you and yours a beautiful shabbos!

Erin and the NCSY GIVE family

PS: If your daughter is staying in Israel after the program, she can be picked up on Sunday evening at 8 Ramban Street, at 8 pm, where we will be having our banquet. Be in touch with any questions!

PPS: Don’t forget to follow our journey at!

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