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Exclusive BLOG from MAIL pioneers in Israel

Posted: 05-Apr-2011 by Maccabi NSW

My opening reflection – by Sinai Shaul

In the opening weeks, getting to know everyone was a major part of our group dynamics as we realised the reality of the coming 5 months.

To my luck, the complete strangers from foreign parts of Australia have turned out a great bunch of individuals. I’m sure that we all agree that we have been blessed with an amazing madrich who has so far been an excellent mentor as well as an awesome friend. As well as this, the teachers and other helpers around us have been amazing.

Hadassah Neurim is an isolated but lovely village with sporting facilities and a stunning beachfront view, something like what we have back in Australia. We have also been lucky to meet a great group of Israeli youth that we have we have spent time socialising and practicing our Hebrew with.

So far, the most memorable part of the trip was volunteering in an orphanage, which I will be doing weekly. It was only the first week so we were just getting the feel for the place but so far, the kids are very friendly and open minded.

Me coming from a small town (Bellingen), it has been a great experience meeting other like minded people and I hope that our companionship will continue to flourish.

The Madrich’s Report – by Yos Orzach

Hello and Shalom from Israel!

All seven pioneers of the first ever Maccabi Israel program arrived in Israel on Friday the 28th of January and spent a beautiful Shabbat in Jerusalem, which started off by meeting up on the Haas promenade on Friday morning, a tour of the old city and visited the Kotel in the evening.

On Shabbat itself we had a tour of Yemin Moshe, which was the first Jewish neighbourhood built outside the old city walls, played football in the afternoon, had a tour of the Kotel tunnels in the evening, and went out to Ben Yehuda street for some night life.

The first week began with the group arriving at what will be our home for the next five months, and had a scavenger hunt to get to know the area, as well as an Israeli cuisine session to make sure we are able to cook good food over the next five months.

On Monday the studies began and the group learned anatomy and Ivrit throughout the week on the Hadassah Neurim campus (which is where we are living). Other than the studies we also went out to Netanya together on Tuesday night, visited the Maccabi museum in Kfar Hamaccabia on Wednesday, and the girls joined an Israeli netball team, which they are now practicing and playing with.

At the end of the week we had our first free weekend in which some people went to stay with family while others stayed on campus, and went to see a rugby game on Saturday afternoon.

We started the next week with a warm welcoming to the Wingate institute, and started learning basketball this week as well!

On Monday night we had a barbeque with Israeli youth of the same age doing a gap year through the scouts movement and that live next door to us in Hadassah Neurim, the barbeque was great fun and the group got to mix with Israelis their age and no doubt we will be doing lots more stuff with them in the near future.

Tuesdays are our volunteering days and the troops went to different places to volunteer in the Israeli society, including schools and an orphanage. Later on that day we also went to the semi finals match in men's volleyball in which Maccabi Tel Aviv beat Netanya in a very close game.

This weekend the group will be travelling up north for Shabbat in Kibbutz Afikim, near the Sea of the Galilee. So Shabbat Shalom for now.

Carnival 2020


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