ILSI Update #3

Shabbat Shalom!

We have had a busy few day and we are excited to share them with you! After we woke up from the camping outside next to the Sea of Galilee, the Kineret, we packed up and –continued our learning about the early pioneers of Israel at Atlit, a British detention center during their mandate in Palestine. Like the early pioneers we learned about in the Kineret Courtyard and Cemetery, the pioneers that found themselves in Atlit were mostly Holocaust survivors. We understood the past political unrest in the area and found similarities to the Jewish past and the modern present.

After our Mishpachot reflection we drove the Jerusalem’s famed Ben Yehuda street. Named for the father of modern Hebrew, Ben Yehuda is a fun one-stop shop for food and shopping! Some of us ate delicious shawarma and other bought Judaica to bring home!

The next day we participated in our Leadership Labs! In four groups, we traveled across Tel Aviv to meet and learn from various organizations doing amazing work in Tel Aviv and across Israel.

The first group met medical clowns at a hospital that are part of Dream Doctors. These trained clowns go into hospitals and bring the smile to the faces of their patients and participate in the important Jewish value of Bikur Cholim. Another group went to the Haaretz newspaper to learn about journalism and covering complex stories in the Middle East. Another group saw a different side of the complexities of the Middle East when they learned about refugees and asylum seekers. Led by the organization BINA, this group toured South Tel Aviv, which is home to many refugees and asylum seekers. After learning about the current issues in the area, the teens learned about Israeli law and how organizations are responding to the needs of these people. The last group went to the training facility of the popular soccer team, Maccabi Tel Aviv. There, they played soccer and learned about the history of Israel and Zionism through the lens of soccer.

We gathered all together for time on the beach and later in the day we went to the BBYO B’Yachad event. ILSI came with spirit and excitement and joined the other trips there are in the country. It was exciting to see so much BBYO pride in our homeland!

The next morning we woke up and drove to the Holy City of Tzfat. Here, where we are now, we met members of the Tzfat community who taught us about the mystical power of Kabbalah, art, and focusing our attention on our goals. We are excited for our upcoming Shabbat in this holy city and we are excited to share more soon.

“I came here in search of myself… I don’t know, I didn’t know I was Jewish until I was 12, I always felt like a piece of my was missing and now I do know. And now that I’m here it feels like home and I am closer to myself and my identity.”
-Sandra Wencewicz Poland

“I really learned a lot visiting the Israeli detention camp and seeing the more recent part of Jewish history from the Jewish people being held in nazi detention camps in Europe to forming a safe haven for the Jewish people in Israel, it was incredible.”
-Adam Witz, BBYO Nassau Suffolk Region

Shabbat Shalom,

International Leadership Seminar in Israel 2018
#ILSI2018

More updates soon!

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