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About The Trip

Summer 2015

NCSY GIVE 2015. Best. Summer. Ever.

Our NCSY GIVE Reflections

Written by GIVEr: Eliana Pomerance 

The last Saturday night on Give was so inspiring. We all met outside one of the dorms and each girl shared their experiences and  times that they were inspired by an act of cheesed, or an inspiring moment this summer. Each of us spoke and it was so incredible to hear everything that was being said.  Afterwards, we ate pizza and headed to the kotel. At the kotel the madrichot handed out to us paper and we wrote ourselves letters which we will be receiving in the mail soon. In our letters we all wrote things that inspired us and which we will continue doing for the future. After we davened we had a huge kumzits. It was one of the most inspiring events that happened on GIVE this summer. We all sang together while looking at our kotel, our home. Afterwards, some of us had the extreme privilege to go daven vasikin. Rachel Black took 25 girls including myself to the kotel at 430 in the morning. We all said brachot together, and then headed towards the kotel. We all ran to the kotel out of excitement. The kotel is our home and we all felt connected to it. We davened at the kotel and at 530 we headed back to the dorms. Thank you so much give for an amazing summer that will never be forgotten. We gained much inspiration, inspiration that we will never forget. Thanks for the BEST.SUMMER.EVER!

Our Last Shabbos On NCSY GIVE 2015.

Written by GIVEr: Julia Sherman

The last Shabbos on GIVE was definitely very meaningful. On Friday night, we davened Kabalat Shabbat at the kotel. We were all singing and dancing together. Even some strangers joined in the dancing with us. I thought that this was amazing because we were all united as Jews. Towards the end of Shabbos, it finally started to sink in. We wouldn’t all be together next Shabbos. Or the next one. Or the next one. It felt like I’ve known everyone on GIVE for 100 years. We’ve laughed together, cried together, done chessed and toured the holiest country ever for 5 weeks, and now it’s all coming to an end. But after Havdallah, we started to sing “6 more days till Shabbos”. And then it hit me. Even though we won’t be together next Shabbos, we still have the memories and can look forward to next Shabbos. We will always be there for each other. If I ever have a problem, I can always call or text a friend or advisor. We are a family no matter what.


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! 

To top off everything else, we then went to a Mayaan- a spring of water. We all got in the water and splashed around. This was even more refreshing because it was normal non slaty water. The camp was able to splash and just have a good time! We played some water frisbee and just hung out with our friends! It was an awesome way to handle to 114 degree weather! Once we all dried off we headed back towards Mevaseret! Home,  sweet home! When we got back we ate dinner and had a night activity. Night activity was planning and discussing different games to make for our annual GIVE- Sterot carnival (on Thursday). We are looking forward to it!


Day 28: Shafdan, Spivak, Food Packaging, Flashmob, & Bedouin Tents

We began our day traveling to Shafdan.

We learned the importance of water and how much our lives depend on it. At Shafdan they take sewage water and they purify it to clean and drinkable water. They gave us a tour of the center and explained the whole process to us. We then all went to a mall in Tel-Aviv to eat lunch! It was nice to be in the cool air conditioning during this heat wave in Israel!
After we had enjoyed our delicious schnitzel sandwiches we divided up. One bus went to a food packaging facility and the other went to Spivak. Spivak was so cool! We were able to see and feel how people who are in wheelchairs feel. We played basketball in wheelchairs! It was such a unique and eye opening experience! The game was extremely fun but also pretty challenging!
Food packaging was fun as always! We were lined up by each box and had to put in various types of food and ingredients. It was a huge team building activity. We all needed to pick up heavy boxes and pass them to one another taking each ingredient out and placing it in the box. We then sealed the box and they were ready to be delivered! These boxes go to families who don’t necessarily have the means to buy their own food.
Afterwards, both buses came together to a rehabilitation center in Tel-Aviv. Once we got there we were told to get some patients to come outside. We then put on the song “Shake It Off” and preformed our flash mob for the patients!!!! It was SO much fun! This was different then any other Chessed we’ve had. We are all use to dancing for either the elderly, sick patients, or those with disabilities. However, these were patients that were 100% with it but they were just trying to recover! We were able to get feedback from them and were able to see expressive responses. All the patients absolutely loved it! To end off out jam packed day, we then headed to our Bedouin tents where we were going to sleep!! Slumber party! We got there and we had dinner sitting on the floor with a meat platter. It was defiantly a different experience! We then had a camp bonfire and sang the night away! Finally, we all headed to our tents to get some rest!
Can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds!


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. 

After, we had the privilege of throwing a birthday party for two girls who are unfortunately suffering from cancer. We decorated the room with signs, balloons, and even had a yummy cake to celebrate their birthdays the right way! Today was so much fun, can’t wait for tomorrow!!

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!!