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.”