NCSY GIVE 2015. Best. Summer. Ever.
Our NCSY GIVE Reflections
Written by GIVEr: Eliana Pomerance
Our Last Shabbos On NCSY GIVE 2015.
Written by GIVEr: Julia Sherman
Carnival For The Children of Sderot
Written by GIVEr: Marnie Weingarten
Today on NCSY GIVE was EPIC!!!!! We began our spectacular day by setting up for the Sderot carnival which we had later during the day. After much preparation and anticipation the children from Sderot arrived. We were all so excited to make these kids who spend much of their time in bomb shelters (due to rockets from gaza) have the best day ever!!! The kids ran around from stand to stand, played the games, took part in several water fights , and chose prizes. The smiles were definitely priceless !!!!! Eventually the carnival had to come to an end and we said our goodbyes to the kids. The fun though, did not come to an end and after we cleaned up the carnival we all took part in an amazing challah baking experience where we learned about the mitzvah of hafreshet challah and then were able to actually partake in the mitzvah. Once we finished making our challah we travelled to the old city for mincha, did some awesome shopping at Mamila, and had a yummy dinner. Another Chessed , fun filled , amazing day on NCSY GIVE has come to an end , But we can’t wait for the next one on the BEST SUMMER EVER!!!
Day 30: The Most Meaningful Day Of My Life
Written by GIVEr: Rena Machinsky
As I reflect on all of my unique experiences from today, I have realized it was one of the most emotionally impactful days on GIVE for me, personally.
As we loaded the bus at 7:45 AM, I knew the long day ahead of us would be one filled with many different emotions. First, we headed to the Emunah center, an organization that helps underprivileged children by providing them with a safe, warm environment. There, as we learned about how the organization works, I was truly amazed by how much the administration of Emunah does for the children that go there. Following this eye opening sneak peak of the behind the scenes of the center, it was finally time to meet the kids! We split up into groups and entered the classrooms. Right away, we began to dance, sing, jump, and even made chocolate with the children. It sounds cliche, but it was magical. The biggest smiles consumed both the kids’ faces as well as ours, as the room was automatically filled with laughter. It was inspiring for me to see every GIVEr create a connection with each child in their own, special way. By the time we left Emunah, the bond between the children and us was unbreakable.
Next, we took off for an experience that would be drastically different from the one we had just had. Our next stop would be Yad Vashem, the famous holocaust memorial museum located in Jerusalem. After learning that it ranks as the third most visited site in Israel, I knew that Yad Vashem would have to be absolutely mind blowing. I was correct. For me, as a first timer, it was an emotional roller coaster. As I walked through the museum, I could not help but to analyze the tragedies and terror that were inflicted upon the previous generations of our nation, the Jewish people. It became so much more real for me as artifacts such as pictures, letters, dolls, shoes, train tracks, and posters surrounded me. Not just for me, but for everyone around me, Yad Vashem was definitely a memorable experience.
After Yad Vashem, we were soon on our way to our third activity of the day, Mt. Hertzel. There, we again had an emotional experience as we learned about the many soldiers that fell for our country, Israel. We spoke about a few specifically, learning of their bravery and heroism. A beautiful message that I learned from this cemetery was one of equality, as each soldier, no matter how high or low their rank may have been, is buried along side one another as equals.
Finally, we finished off our action packed day with a basketball game against our fellow NCSY summer program, Michlelet. Although they technically beat us by the end of the game, I believe we won by having fun!
I hope as GIVE comes to an end, the rest of my days here will be as incredible as today was.
Day 29: Camel Riding, Masada, Dead Sea & Mayaan
Today was one of the most action packed days we’ve had on GIVE! The day began with us eating some yummy breakfast in the Bedouin tents, which prepared us for a fun and crazy adventure for camel riding! As a camp, we all packed up and got ready to head towards the one and only Masada!! Because of the heat wave, we were unable to hike up Masada. However, we took the cable carts up and down! Whoohoo! When we got up the mountain we were able to see the amazingly beautiful view. Learning the history of Masada and the life that the Jews lived there was also pretty amazing. As a group we all walked to different sections of Masada. In those sections were different advisors who prepared a little historical performance for the whole camp. This made it a lot more exciting to learn about the history! Afterwards, we got back on to the buses and headed towards the Dead Sea! All the girls were super psyched to go into the famous salty water! Girls cooled down in the water just a bit and even smeared some mud on their faces to smoothen their skin!
Day 28: Shafdan, Spivak, Food Packaging, Flashmob, & Bedouin Tents
We began our day traveling to Shafdan.
NCSY GIVE: WEEK 3
Day 27: StandWithUs, Scavenger Hunt, Body Image, & Birthday Party
Today on GIVE, we reunited as a family after school having a nice free weekend. We heard from the organization StandWithUs, and learned about the history of the state of Israel, and how to spread the awareness of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. We shared ideas about how we could each become involved spreading the truth about Israel and all that we’ve gone through to declare Israel a Jewish state. Following a yummy lunch in the OU center, we boarded the buses for a fun SCAVENGER HUNT!!! The busses arrived to the malcha mall, and each team was given a list of funny tasks to perform on camera, using props (or people) around the mall!! After running around the mall, and making the funniest videos, we arrived back at mevaseret for mincha and a delicious dinner! Following dinner, we had an excellent program about body image. First, we had a fashion show, and each team was assigned a certain individual to dress up as. Within minutes, each team used props and materials to create costumes to resemble the individual we were assigned! We then spoke about the importance of ones body image amongst society.
Day 22: Chessed Elective- Don’t take anything for granted!
Written by GIVEr: Tovah Blank
Today was the second day of volunteering at emunah. It was really exciting and fun when we were able to recognize faces and the names of children we had previously formed friendships with. After davening and eating breakfast, we were able to play a few sports activities with the children and their instructor. We began with playing with tall wooden sticks, where we were all in a circle and had to try and catch each other’s sticks as we moved around. Then we played a fun exercise where there was string wrapped around a pair of people and we had to try and get out without using our hands. After that, we became guides or were guided by the children wearing a blindfold all throughout the property in afula. Then we came inside a cool room and played a really fun game of Chinese gaga, which was fun for all the kids, but especially us! After lunch, we arranged a small carnival for all the kids to participate in. Everyone was able to make an animal, flower, or whatever they wanted out of clay and also create a cup of sand art. Then we all went outside to play a really fun game of drip drip drop, which ended up turning into a huge waterfight between us and the kids, leaving most of us soaking wet! While all the kids had some free time to shower we were able to check out the nearby stores in afula, drink coffee and eat in aroma, and get candy!! To end off the night after dinner, we all played musical chairs, freeze dance, and “hamelech omer” (israeli Simon says). All the kids were super happy and having a blast and they didn’t want to leave when they had to go to bed. Once all the kids went o their rooms for the night, we walked to Ellin, who is a worker at emunah. She is so sweet and kind and made us all feel welcome and loved in her home. Ellin was able to answer some questions we had, as well as brief us on some of the histories of the kids we have grown to love and care for. We spent hours just chilling, talking, and reflecting on our amazing experience here at emunah. It’s truly inspiring to see children at such a young age with such positive and happy attitudes, despite their terrible backgrounds. For me, there was nothing more rewarding than engaging in conversations with the kids, helping them, or just making them smile. Coming to emunah has taught me to appreciate all that I have especially my family, because kids here would probably dream of a safe and loving family. I am so happy that I chose the chesed elective, and I can’t wait to create even more memories tomorrow!!