Day 18: Lehava, Israel - Ilan Kaufman

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Today started with a 7:15am wake-up followed by the best breakfast we have had all week. By 9:30am, we were split into two busses, one boy bus and one girl bus. Our first stop of the day was at Ezra v’Shulamit’s warehouse. Yad Ezra v’Shulamit is a charity that helps people who don’t have the same opportunity as people like us. They pack a range of different foods and distribute it anonymously. Our job today was to assist the workers to pack vegetables and fruits into bags that will eventually be delivered, and it was very humbling to do this good deed. As privileged Jewish children, it is essential that we give a portion of our time towards those who are less fortunate.

Next, we headed towards the Old City to visit a Yeshiva. For the second time so far on IST, we were totally immersed in Jerusalem’s thick culture and dense diversity. We all felt at home with the amazing staff and madrichim accompanying us. At the Yeshiva, the first thing we saw was a range of books including chumashim, siddurim and books of the Tanach that were spread out across every table in the room. It’s amazing to see how dedicated people are to learning about our religion and the books of Tanach. Our first speaker was Rav Dovidall Weinberg talking about the importance of getting to know the people surrounding you. His shiur was inspiring and eye opening for me and my fellow peers. 

After our first speaker, we tucked into a delicious lunch at the Yeshiva, followed by our second speaker, Rav Binny Friedman who spoke about the importance of prayers. He too had an incredible message that captivated us as a group, speaking to us about how prayer can connect us to G-d. 

To top off the day one of our head teachers, Yigal from the JNF, put his driving skills to the test. A local lady managed to get her car wedged between two walls at the Zion gate. Without Yigal’s help the lady would not have been able to get out the gate with no dents or scratches on the side doors. But our hero, Yigal came to the rescue. With the impatience of the Israeli drivers hooting behind the car, Yigal managed to maneuver the car out of the gate with not one dent or scratch. We always know Yigal is there to assist in every way. 

Finally, we had free time at the amazing Mamilla mall where we could buy a range of food and incredible clothing! A perfect way to end off our interesting day.

Day 19: Netzach, Israel - Alon Kopelowitz

Day 18: Netzach, Israel - Jonah Sirtes