• It’s Not Goodbye, It’s L’hitraot (see you later)

    By Rabbi Rich Kirschen
    Now that the NFTY in Israel journey has ended, another journey is beginning. Your children have already disembarked from the airplane very tried, but nevertheless very fulfilled. It is without a doubt the NFTY in Israel summer is a challenging summer and ultimately it is a summer of growing up. These young people who were so far away from their homes needed to work together in a group experience that was often demanding and frequently called upon them to harness their inner resources.


    Continue reading
  • Top Ten Fun Times From Israel

    By Jo Cohn and Bellamy Richardson
    Looking back on an amazing summer, teens prepared their top ten list of most fun moments!


    Continue reading
  • You Israeli Great!

    By Josh Fielding
    Meeting the Israelis was a really great and incredible experience. Learning about their lives growing up in a country in which they learn to deal with conflict constantly was a really eye-opening experience. Specifically, when we did an activity teaching us about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the leader asked the Israelis to stand up if they had family or friends who had been killed in the conflict and every Israeli stood up. Even though they are just teenagers with very similar interests as ours, their situation is at a stark contrast to ours. In a few years, we'll be off at college, in a few years, they'll be serving in the IDF.


    Continue reading
  • Living in the Moment

    By Alana Wilck
    Last summer, our Camp Harlam director told both the first and second sessioners before our trips to Boston and D.C, that having gone to camp for so long we should have realized by now that the people that go to camp is what makes the place so special. Before leaving for my NFTY in Israel summer, this idea kept floating around my head. I spent my first summer of camp in 2009, and having gone to a place whose magic is so much greater than I can ever fully comprehend, it was hard to imagine that the incredible camp community could continue to exist halfway across the world.


    Continue reading
  • Open Dialogue

    By Sam Leiber
    Today I, as well as others, had one of the most impactful experiences in my life. We went as a group to a Muslim family's house and spoke with a woman who was born in Britain to a secular family and converted to Islam. When we were told we were doing this, I was skeptical. Based on what I knew about Islam, I wondered why she had converted to a religion with so much controversy. When we arrived to her house, I put my preconceived ideas aside and opened my mind to her thoughts and opinions. I'm so glad that I did. 


    Continue reading
  • The Summer of a Lifetime

    By David Paul
    This trip is over in two days and none of us want to leave. We have come so close as a group and have went through so many fun and wacky experiences this summer. With Lizzey's pizool at the mall, Aaron being Aaron, Noah and Ari being Noah and Ari, Earl the dolphin, Jada's horror stories, and Jeff's raps just to name a few of the awesome experiences we had this summer. I'm going to miss this group a lot, but I know we will all keep in touch down the line as I have made so many close friends throughout this trip. This summer has been a magical and once in a lifetime summer.


    Continue reading
  • New Israeli Friends!

    Maya Lautenberg and Corey Scweinfeld
    Friday morning we woke up early and prepared to meet the six Israeli teens that would be joining us for the next week.  We were all very excited and nervous as we drove to a beach on the Sea of Galilee, where we would be meeting the Israeli's. First, we went through some icebreakers on the beach, including a name game, cunja, omg gam anni, and some physical activities that invloved climbing through a metal web.


    Continue reading
  • The Holy City of Tzfat

    By Jessica Becker
    You might not have thought of this but there is a part of Shabbat called Kabbalat Shabbat. This part of the service welcomes in the sabbath bride with prayers such as the l'cha dodi, hine mah tov and mizmor shir. One way that this part of the service is celebrated, at my temple, is having these prayers said in song or chanting outside the entrance of the sanctuary circled around the Shabbat candles. While we were in tsfat, we learned about the origins of kabbalat and Jewish mysticism.


    Continue reading
  • Lehitraot – See You Soon!

    By Rabbi Rich Kirschen
    Now that the NFTY in Israel journey is about to end , another journey is beginning. Your children will disembark from the airplane very tried, but nevertheless very fulfilled. It is without a doubt the NFTY in Israel summer is a challenging summer and ultimately it is a summer of growing up. These young people who were so far away from their homes needed to work together in a group experience that was often demanding and frequently called upon them to harness their inner resources.


    Continue reading
  • Ancient and Tenacious – “Jerusalem” is the Symbol of the Jewish People Par Excellence.

    By Rabbi David Wilfond
    Tomorrow, Friday, the group will visit Mount Hertzl. This is like Israel's '"Arlington National Cemetery."  Here lie soldiers from all of Israel's wars.  This site tells the story of the struggle of Israel throughout its history.  Here one learns of the inspiring lives of people who paid the ultimate price so that the People of Israel might live. Buried side by side one finds generals and simple soldiers, men and women, young and old. All are equal in death.  All gave their lives.  May we through our lives give their sacrifice the meaning and respect that is deserved.


    Continue reading
  • “Meeting one of the last Holocaust Survivors at Yad Vashem”

    By Rabbi David Wilfond
    "Kishrey Noar" is Hebrew for "Youth Connections," and for many of the American Teens this is a highlight of the summer in Israel. During this part of the program, eight Israeli teens join the group full time for seven days. The idea is to break the impression that the tour bus is like an "aquarium" in which the participants look out upon Israel from the bus window, but fail to get in touch with real Israelis and their lives. 


    Continue reading