Day 39: Netzach, Israel - Shaun May

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The last Shabbat on IST was one filled with both sadness and excitement. This was the first Shabbat since Poland that we would experience as a year group and not as ‘Lehava’ or ‘Netzach’.

As usual, on  Shabbat we were granted a long sleep in as wake-up was only at 10.00am. We then enjoyed a small kiddush at 10:30 followed by Mussaf. The vibe in shule was incredible as many wanted to make their last Shabbat on IST an experience to be remembered. There wasn’t a much better way we could’ve started our day. After the morning service we were divided into our buses for “chaborut”. My bus [bus 2] did an activity which aimed to see how others thought you had changed during the trip, and how you yourself thought you may have changed during the time away. It really helped everyone self reflect on how much of an impact the whole program had really made on every individual .

After this activity we proceeded to lunch and were treated with the usual Israeli salads and schnitzel. Following lunch we were given about 3 hours of free time, to do whatever we wanted. I used this time to chill in my room and gained some much needed rest for the night that was to come.

Wwe proceeded back to the dining room for the third meal or “seudat shlishit” which again comprised of Israeli salad and chicken. After enjoying some more activities with our family groups we gathered downstairs in the shule for the final Ma'ariv and Havdallah service of the trip. This however was only the beginning of the night to come.

After Ma'ariv, my side, Netzach gathered in one of the halls in the hotel where the students had to opportunity to mock and roast the mads and vice versa. Although there may have been a few inappropriate comments (Judd Katz) it was extremely funny to see the mads make fun of all the stuff we had done over the trip. After this activity we boarded the buses ready to go to the Bedouin tents for dinner and a party.

The party began with a number of speeches from members of different buses highlighting their fondest memories and experiences of the trip. Afterwards a couple of the teachers and mads spoke to us about how much effort is really put into the trip, something that I am extremely appreciative of.  Finally the best part of the night was upon us, partying in the tents into the night which was absolutely amazing and one of my highlights of the trip. Partying with the whole of IST in the desert was definitely something I’ll never forget.

At around 11 o’clock we left the tents to go back to the hotel. When we got back everyone was all over the place. You could see most kids out until around 3.00am which really highlights both the close bonds we’ve made as a group as well as how much fun we had been having.

The final Shabbat on IST was really truly special, and certainly a day (and night) I will never forget.

Day 39: Lehava, Israel - Jackie Small

Day 38: Netzach, Israel - Jonah Sirtes