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About The Trip

Week in Review from our Director, Erin Stiebel

give July 5, 2013
Dear Parents,
We’re here! After months of waiting, planning, and anticipation, we have arrived safely in Israel and have enjoyed our first few days getting to know your girls. Let me tell you, we have an AWESOME group of girls this summer!
We arrived after a very (very, very) long flight, settled down in our “home away from home”- Mevaseret, and after a brief orientation and some delicious lunch prepared by our wonderful chef, Moe, we made our way into Jerusalem for the first time, ready to visit our sacred link to generations past, the Kotel. It was a very moving experience for many of our campers, to touch the stones bearing the tears, prayers and dreams of so many before us. For some, it was their first time at the Kotel, while others felt very at home returning to a familiar place where their connection with Hashem is at its highest. We ended the evening with a wonderful dinner and an early curfew to allow for some much-needed rest!
Our first day of chessed, Thursday, was filled with an array of chessed opportunities! We began the day visiting 2 local nursing homes where we sang and danced with the residents and then headed to Yad Sara, an organization that provides medical supplies and assistance to a remarkable number of individuals across Israel. Lunch was served at the Mifletzet, a REALLY fun park in Jerusalem with super fun slides coming out of the mouth of a monster (sounds a bit unorthodox, but when you see it yourself, you’ll understand!), and then we headed to Gan Saker, for an afternoon of activities, games, pita making and dancing with Alei Siach, an organization for adults with developmental disabilities. We had a blast- and so did our new friends from Alei Siach! That night we returned home for dinner, introductions to chaburahs (our daily learning sessions), a hilarious night activity and of course, our kick-off Thursday Night Mishmar with our NCSY GIVE Rabbi, Rabbi Barcuh Felberman of Shaalavim for Women. Awesome learning, awesome snacks, awesome day.
Today was very meaningful, as we made our way to Har Herzel, hearing the story of Michael Levin, an American soldier killed in the 2006 Lebanon War, and many others who lost their lives defending our beloved homeland. Our guard, Nitzan, shared her personal story of serving in the army, allowing the girls to hear first hand what our Israeli brothers and sisters sacrifice for Jewish people everywhere. We then worked the field in Bait HaZayit, helping to harvest vegetables and weed the field so that more produce could grow successfully. We truly got our hands dirty with chessed, today! From there we headed to the shuk, to fully experience the craziness of erev Shabbos! We shopped, ate, and bumped into anyone and everyone looking to buy their last minutes shabbos needs! It was a blast!
We’re now getting ready for our first shabbos together as the NCSY GIVE family and can’t wait to continue to get to know each other, grow together, learn together and laugh together. It’s sure to be an uplifting experience!!
Thank you for sharing your daughters with us- and be sure to share our experience along with us by frequently visiting our NCSY GIVE website. There you will find constant updates, pictures, videos and blogs. Enjoy!
Wishing you and your family a beautiful shabbos!
Erin and the NCSY GIVE Family