Girls Israel Volunteer Experience
NCSY GIVE 2015: Good shabbos from Mevaseret!

Dear NCSY GIVE Parents,

Erev Tisha Ba’av 5775. Again we prepare to mourn over the past, the destruction of our Holy Temple, and to cry for the present, the state of disarray and suffering in today’s world. On NCSY GIVE, we have determined to make the Nine Days, days which are filled with restrictions and sadness, into days which are filled with bettering the world around us. And I really think we’ve been successful!
This week on GIVE was filled with incredible volunteering and meaningful programming.The week began with a visit to Shvil HaSalat, a super cool organic farm that produces some of the most beautiful produce you’ve ever seen. Not to mention, they had approximately a thousand different types of cherry tomatoes (an Israeli invention, might I add), which were each more delicious than the next. We learned the ins and outs of how to (and not to!) operate a farm during shmitah and helped to clean up the area. It was awesome! From there we headed back to Mevaseret for a wacky night activity of See, Run, Paint.
Monday through Thursday were jam packed with chessed! We did everything from work with the elderly, visit Hatzalah headquarters, work with children from troubled homes, pack food for victims of terror, bring simcha to families of terror victims and even trained to become medical clowns and put our new skills to practice in local hospitals! We also had the privilege to see a performance called Na Lagaat, performed by the blind, deaf and mute. We quickly realized what a blessing it is to have our health and gained tremendous respect for those with disabilities who overcome obstacles to achieve greatness. SO many lives were impacted and affected by our GIVErs this week.
In addition to the vast acts of kindness the GIVErs participated in, we also had a very meaningful week. We visited Mechon Tzomet and learned about how modern technology and halacha coincide to help us maximize what we can offer to those in need. Additionally, we visited Yad VaShem, the Holocaust Museum, Givat Oz VeGaon, a new memorial that was set up in memory of the three boys kidnapped and murdered last summer (we helped to clean up the park around there and move rocks to make the space safer), and visited Har Herzel, the military cemetery. While at Har Hertzel, we had the honor of a by-chance meeting with a friend of the well-known American young man who became an Israeli soldier, Michael Levin, who was killed in battle several years ago. Our visit to Har Hertzel coincided with his yartzheit and as we met Michael’s friend and adopted Israeli family, we learned more about him as a person and were able to share in their loss and remember this special young man who died for our country.
We also had the chance to hear from some fantastic educators this week, which included Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin, Director of Education for NCSY, and Rabbi David Katz, Director of MMY. We were also visited by NCSY reps from New England NCSY, NY NCSY, NJ NCSY, Southern NCSY and National NCSY. We’re basically really popular… what can we say.
Today we headed to Ir David, the City of David, to learn about the rich history of the Old City and got to trek through the amazing Chizkiyahu water tunnels. Before entering though, we were met by Rabbi Micha Greenland, International Director of NCSY (and dad of one of our GIVErs!), who shared some awesome Torah with us and got us pumped for all that we can achieve and accomplish this summer. We then made our way over to Machane Yehuda, lovingly known as “the Shuk”, purchased some delicious treats and are now back at Mevaseret getting ready for an incredible shabbos that will lead us into Tisha Ba’av. We’ll be joined by Rabbi Felberman, our GIVE Rabbi, and his wife, and look forward to sharing what should be a very meaningful shabbos together.
Wishing you and yours a beautiful shabbos and easy and meaningful Tisha Baav. May we soon merit to celebrate the rebuilding of Yerushalayim!
Erin and the NCSY GIVE Family
PS- We apologize for the technical glitch that prevented our previous weekly emails from being sent out. Hopefully from now on you will receive all sent communication in a timely manner!
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