• Derech Eretz: Creating Sacred Conversations Here and There in the Land of Israel

    By Rabbi Rich Kirschen
    Whether your children are up in the north of the Galilee or in the hills of Jerusalem, there is one part of their  program that remains consistent throughout their journey- and that is the emphasis we place on the importance of “ Conversation.” 


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  • Be the Change You Wish to See

    By Rachel Freedman & Andy Shodell
    For our Chavaya (experience) four day period, we chose to repair the world in the Tikkun Olam program. During most of this time, we worked with local Bedouin children with a main goal of teaching basic English. Throughout our experience, we were surrounded by Bedouin culture and the Arabic language. Our eyes were opened and we realized the immense education gained through multiculturalism. Although at times the language barrier made communication with the kids difficult, we still managed to connect and enhance each other's knowledge. We learned just as much from them as they did from us. 


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  • Ken Mifakedet (Yes Ma’am)

    By Ari Lazowski
    Gadna is a stressful, attentive and enduring chavyah (experience). The strict authoritarian style of training, forces the soldiers to quickly cope with the normality of the Israeli Defense Force. You quickly learn that respect can take you far both physically and socially. Standing in a uniform line with our feet pointed in a V-shape and our arms behind our backs soon became a habit. We could clearly see the improvement throughout the entire unit.


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  • Legs Day

    By Josh Koretz
    Sea to sea was one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences of my life. The first day, we started with a river hike to get us into our groups mentality, and then we went to the campsite for our first night in the wilderness. We were woken up by a wild boar early in the night, but the counselors forced everyone to get over it and go to sleep. In the morning, we woke up freezing cold and completely exhausted, ready to start hiking across Israel.


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  • We Really Love Rocks!

    By Anna Cohen, Johanna Cohn, and Bellamy Richardson
    Bell: So we just finished our dig. Anna: Our archeological dig; we weren't just digging in the ground for four days. Jo: Well I'm sure they would have gotten that. Anna: Okay so anyways, we just finished our archeological dig. Bell: We know it sounds boring to dig in the dirt for four days... Jo: Especially when you could've shot a gun at Gadna or hiked from sea to sea. Anna: In reality the digging was fun.


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  • Repairing the World

    By Phoebe Caplan
    Tikkun olam -repairing the world- a concept we have been learning about since our first days in religious school. the constant badgering of  "It's our duty on this Earth," "Make it a better place than how you left it," and "Anyone can make a change" may sound redundant at this point, but what does it all really mean? Personally, I never really thought about it past holding the door open for someone else or donating money to a charity.


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  • From Sea to Shining Sea

    By Alana Wilck
    For the past 4 days, 30 campers from unit 2A embarked on a journey, traveling from the Kineret to the Mediterranean Sea in a combination of biking and hiking that ended up being around 75 kilometers. This adventure is more commonly known as Yam L'Yam. Looking back, choosing Sea to Sea as my chavaya was the best choice I could have made, but 4 days ago many of us were nervous and did not know what to expect.


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  • 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.


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  • “Like the Israeli Halutzim (Pioneers) we are challenged to Dream Big!””

    By Rabbi David Wilfond
    This past Friday the group explored the Ancient Mediterranean port city of Akko.  Akko is home to the second largest Mosque in the Land of Israel called the Al-Jazzar Mosque.  Many participants had been in churches before, but very few of the American teens had ever visited a mosque.  The visit serves as an opportunity to learn about the world's second largest monotheistic religion, Islam, and to learn about the history of the Arab Conquest through which Islam travelled beyond the Arabian Peninsula to arrive in the Land of Israel in 635 CE. 


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  • Today at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum and Education Center

    By Rabbi David Wilfond
    Friday the Group began the "Kishrey Noar" segment of the NFTY Summer Program. "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.


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