Week Three Review
I hope all is well.
As “Family Weekend” is upon us, our campers are either spending Shabbat with their family or friends in Israel, or enjoying a relaxing Shabbat Weekend with our own Biluim Israel Family. After a very exciting and exhausting 4 days, it’s a welcome break for everyone to relax, recharge, and get ready for our last full week together.
This past week, our campers on Adventure Week got the chance to hike many trails across the northern part of Israel. Along the way, they got to rappel down a cave, sleep under the stars, cook their own meals, and on Wednesday, we partnered with an organization called Paratrek that makes hiking accessible for individuals who are physically handicapped. Their slogan is “Where There’s a Wheel, There’s a Way”, and on Wednesday, our campers got to help make their morning hike more accessible for someone who would not normally be able to experience it.
The other half of the group spent the week training at the Tzalmon Gadna Army Base. They wore real uniforms and were divided into squadrons, each of which had a commander (a Mefaked or Mefakedet). They learned basic army commands as well as a little Israeli military history, and by the end of the week they even got to shoot a rifle on a shooting range. The campers expressed that getting a small taste of what it might be like to be a soldier, even if it was a little challenging sometimes, made them appreciate how much their Israeli brothers and sisters have sacrificed to protect our homeland a little bit more. It’s an experience that they won’t soon forget.
So enjoy the Gadna and Adventure Week photos below, and stay tuned for one more final Week in Review next weekend.
Shabbat Shalom CYJ!
This week at Biluim Israel was Specialty Week where we were split into two groups. One group went off to “Gadna” to see what it was like to be in the Israeli army, and the other group participated in Adventure Week, where we hiked and explored the northern part of Israel.
We were nervous as we arrived to the army base at Gadna because we didn’t know what to expect. After meeting our commanders, learning about specific weapons, and doing lots of field training throughout the week, our training ended with the chance to shoot a gun a real shooting range gun. We became very close with our units as we participated in many drills and teamwork exercises together. We learned about what it meant to be a part of the Israeli army and we left at the end of the week with a greater understanding and respect for the soldiers and all their hard work. Although the Gadna experience was a tough one at times, it was very rewarding at the end to know that we were able to complete it.
Adventure Week began with an afternoon hike to a fortress that was hundreds of years old. Afterwards, we climbed back down the mountain and hiked across the valley to our first campsite. We slept under the stars and cooked our own dinner from scratch. The next day, we went rappelling off a cliff and cave crawling in the Keshet Cave. We then had two more full days of hiking, which included climbing the second tallest mountain in all of Israel and using a special wheelchair designed to give people with physical disabilities the opportunity to hike, which we were able to help provide. This experience gave us the opportunity to appreciate Israel’s landscape and the beauty of the country. Being together in nature brought us all closer together as a Chevra and created unforgettable memories.
As we are approaching our last full week here in Israel, we are so excited to continue exploring the country all together. We hope that you are having an amazing summer at your camps!
With love from Grace Candiotti, Ryan Sosnowicz, Matthew Kibbel and the rest of Biluim Israel
Adventure Week Photos