Day 32 - Y2i and Cinema City (Lehava)
Today was a day many of us had been looking forward to and anticipating for most of IST. It was Y2i day, where we would be all reunited with our friends from the Chavayah and the BJE programs and have the opportunity to share our unique Israel experiences with one another.
We arrived in Kiryat Moriah and I as well as many others instantly spotted friends from the other programs, some I had seen just before I left and some I hadn't seen for years. It was truly amazing to re connect with the Emanuel and BJE students and ask them all about their trips and tell them all about ours and compare who's sounded the best of course! We then proceeded to the auditorium to hear a snippet of IST's, Chavayah and BJE's Israel experiences so far, which all sounded incredible.
After, we all went to our workshops, which for me were the drums session and henna. The rhythmic momentum brought out the unity while simultaneously creating a powerful atmosphere. We were all able to follow a beat with the drum (even the musically challenged like myself) and all connect through the music, despite coming from different schools all around Sydney. The drums session, gradually turned into a dance session, which was really enjoyable for everyone there.
After, we took more time to catch up and headed into our next workshop. Now for me, henna was a mysterious world as I am also artistically challenged and had never experimented with henna before, but we all had a blast nonetheless, no matter how "abstract" some of my henna looked.
We then headed into the cafeteria for lunch, giving us all a perfect opportunity to step outside of our IST bubble and meet new people and socialise with our old friends. We then went to explore a fair set up about our possible future opportunities to return to Israel, through different gap year programs offered in Israel.
Following the fair, we all went back to the auditorium to listen to a musical performance by "The Last Generation." Before the performance we heard about the incredible careers of the band members, which was impressive as the guitarist had played for Kelly Clarkson, and the drummer had played with Hillary Duff, demonstrating how successful Israeli's have been, even when they are doubted and undermined. During the performance, myself and many others went onto the floor and started dancing to the music all united together as one big Australian Jewish community. I certainly felt the power and unity we all had when we danced and sung together, even though many of us didn't previously know each other. The concert ended with the typical chant of "one more song" until the band finally gave in and played another final song.
Then, the time we all dreaded arrived. Saying goodbye to all of our friends and the new friends we had made today, exchanging Facebook and snapchat usernames and had some final goodbye hugs before leaving with the rest of IST.
We then all headed to cinema city where we were going to have "IST quality time" , which mainly consisted of finding food and bathrooms! We then had dinner and all 160 of us went into the movie theatre to watch "The Fantastic Beasts" (how 160 of us managed to stay somewhat quiet for 2 hours is beyond me!) which many of the 'Potterheads' seemed to really enjoy, whilst others enjoyed a quality catch up on sleep.
We are nearly at the end of our IST journey, which saddens me as I have been loving every minute we have been here. The relationships I have developed with old and new friends and all of our amazing Madrichim, I will cherish forever and hope we can all have an amazing last week and a half together. I also just want to extend my gratitude towards Y2i for giving everyone on IST, the once in a lifetime opportunity to come to Israel and explore our holy land and experience everything Israel has to offer.
By Eden Lee Schreier