Caving, Shalva, and Kever Rachel!
“Today, Wednesday August 1, is my birthday,” says Sophie Chervitz. “It was so fun to celebrate with all of my new give family, and it will truly be a birthday to remember forever. Other than the celebrations, we did three exciting things. First, we went to what seemed to be just a valley and some hills. What we didn’t realize was that under the ground there were these caves that the Jews dug up thousands of years ago to hide from the Romans! We walked in one cave until it got too small to stand straight in, at one point we had to crawl on our stomachs to get through the narrow passageways! Once we were all in one part of the cave we sat down and thought about how the Jews back in the day had to hide there just to live out their Jewish lives. We then sang a few songs and it was a very powerful experience. Second, we went to Shalva which is an organization that takes care of kids with special needs. One of the main focuses of the organization is called reverse- inclusion which I thought was amazing. In essence, instead of having the kids cooped up by themselves, or even being out in the world, they have their facilities open to the public to come and join them. They have playgrounds that the neighborhood kids come and play at, and sports teams that everyone can join. Third, we visited Kever Rochel and we all davened mincha together. It was astounding how many women gathered there to daven for anything under the sun. They were very inspirational to watch and see how intense their tefilos were.”
Fun day in Tel Aviv!
Today was a jam packed fun day!! We began our day by going to a blind factory where people who are blind are employed. There we got to work along side blind individuals in helping them do the things that they were working on. Next we walked to a park to eat lunch and learn some Torah. Then we drove down to the beautiful beach for a few hours, where we got to play games in the water and just relax. From the beach we headed to HaYarkon park for exciting hot air ballooning and dinner by the sun set! Lastly we went to see a show with actors who are blind, mute, and or deaf. “Hearing their stories and dreams was heart melting,” says Aliza Warburg. “I never really appreciated that I have all five senses so much before in my life! Although these people have these disabilities they do not just sit at home all day, instead they choose to be positive and make others happy! These actors may not have all the abilities we do, but they really taught me what it means to appreciate life and stay positive!”
Shuk and Cinema City!
Today we were totally SHUK by the amazing tour we had in Machane Yehuda! We got to learn all about and experience the different cultures within the shuk, while exploring the ins and outs of this beloved location. We even got to try some delicious homemade chummus, frozen drinks, Argentinian food, Moroccan food, and Falafel. After feeling so full and extremely cultured we continued our exciting day by going to Cinema City where we had a VIP movie experience. There we got to watch a movie in incredibly comfortable reclining movie theater seats while getting unlimited sushi, pizza, pasta, popcorn, Ben & Jerrys and so much more! YUM! What a day today was!!!
Sderot Carnival in Lev!
“What a day, today was on Give Bus 2,” says Nechama Heit, a fabulous Giver. Nechama describes this day on Give by saying, “Waking up early for many people, is difficult; but when you know you’re getting up to do chessed, it makes it so much easier. Today we prepared a carnival for kids from sderot; kids who live a day to day life in fear of rockets being shot into their community. First off, the preparation was extremely fun and bonding. When the kids arrived, wow, what a scene it was. I cannot even explain in words how amazing the atmosphere was. The Give girls made bridges at the doors of the buses and sang songs and danced in order to give the warmest welcome to each and every kid. After all the insane dancing, everyone made their way into the fun and exciting carnival. From water-fights to face paint, I saw so many kids smiling and laughing along with their new and old friends. Just seeing how much these kids were enjoying themselves made my day. Going crazy during the carnival with all the dancing and singing, I too, along with other givers, was having the best time and really enjoyed myself at the carnival. That is the true definition of giving; giving happily in a way that it effects others as well as yourself.”
Today we had the privilege of being able to welcome a Nefesh B’nefesh flight. “This flight was not just any group of Olim for me,” says Aliza Warburg, a fellow Giver. “It was such a special Aliyah flight because my grandparents were actually making aliah on that flight. Being able to cheer them on during this milestone was so meaningful. I will never forget their faces when they saw all of us waiting with welcome home signs! I am so proud of them and I can’t wait to join them here soon!!
What a day!
Zoe Berman, a special Giver from Omaha Nebraska talks about our day saying,”We experienced two organizations that provide employment for those who are not able to get otherwise. One was an organization that provides work for the elderly and one which employed individuals who have special needs. We then went on to explore yet another part of Jerusalem; this time we walked the streets of mea shearim. We even did a crazy fun scavenger hunt through Geulah! The day ended with us making history, as we won the Give vs. Michlelet basketball game for the first time in NINE YEARS!! What an exciting day!”
This past week we had Yom NCSY which was absolutely incredible. As our beloved Giver, Nomi Amsel described it, “YOM NCSY is THE biggest event of NCSY summer. From the moment we got there till the moment we left was a time I will never forget. Not only was it the most fun experience of my summer or even my life, it was also extremely meaningful and inspiring. More than 1600 Jewish teens from all different parts of the world and from all different sects of Judaism join together and just celebrate the mere fact that we are all Jews. It was an overwhelming feeling when the entire stadium, arm in arm, sang together and Rabbi Greenland said that this is was like in the Beit
HaMikdash when all klal yisroel would gather to light the menorah. So thank you NCSY for changing all our lives and allowing all of us to have the feeling of being part of something bigger than ourselves. And God willing next year we will meet again in Yerushalim.”
Chessed filled day!
Today our chessed filled day began with a bus ride to Tel Aviv where we went to SPIVAK which is the Israel sports center for the disabled where we learned about this unbelievable organization. Shimmy, our hilarious and fun guide and coach gave us a whole new perspective on how disabilities don’t need to be as limiting as we think. He showed us all the special equipment SPIVAK provides in order to make it possible for people with disabilities to feel like anyone else and have fun playing sports like basketball. Coach Shimmy then taught us how to play basketball using the special equipment. We had so much fun racing across the huge gym in special wheelchairs and trying to shoot hoops while doing it. (It was so much harder than it looked.) After that Shimmy told us all about his story and we actually got to watch the Israel famous SPIVAK basketball team practice for their game coming up. We then had lunch in a park in Tel Aviv and then went to Independence Hall, where we learned all about the beginning and the development of the State of Israel. Our exciting day did not end there; we then headed to Save A Child’s Heart where we volunteered with the cutest kids from across the world who are here for proper medical treatment for a heart transplant. As Ariana Borck, an NCSYer on GIVE said, “Today when we walked into the save a child’s heart building I already new I was going to have the best time ever! Once we started to interact with the children I knew I wanted to do something with kids in the future. Not just that, but I want to specifically do it in Israel because seeing what they do here in save a child’s heart is really so inspiring to me.” We then headed back to Lev Hatorah where we had dinner and an awesome “mystery envelope “ night activity, which was ridiculously fun! Wow what an incredible day it was!
Caving away at Ir David
We were privileged to have Rabbi Felberman come to Give Bus 2 to explain the laws of the nine days and give insight into the different ways we can work to become greater individuals in order to bring mashiach. Our program began with awesome energy as we made our way to the City of David. We were introduced to Avi, our amazing tour guide, who gave us a fantastic tour of the ancient city and the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. We walked through the ancient water tunnel of Chizkiyahu and sweated our way through the hike back up the mountain. Following Ir Dovid, we learned about the rich history of the Jewish Quarter and our special connection as a link in the chain of the Jewish nation. We finished our long and full day with free time in Mamilla and made our way back to Lev Hatorah.
Making our way to Yerushalaim!
We woke up bright and early and began our day with davening and breakfast. We then broke into groups of seven and had chaburahs led by our awesome advisors. Next we loaded the buses and drove to Yerushalaim where we volunteered in an old age home, Idan Hazahav. We sang and danced our hearts away, putting the biggest smiles on everyone’s faces while also having a blast! Our adventure continued when we drove to the Old City where we all got food vouchers to pick from so many different restaurants. Following our delicious lunch we walked down to the Kotel together and had a powerful experience being at the holiest place. We then headed back towards Lev, but first made a pit stop at the coolest mall in Beit Shemesh. When we got back to Lev we played human “guess who” and ate dinner. We then had team building outdoor training (ODT) which was extremely bonding and crazy fun! Can’t believe this was only the first full day!!!!