Thursday, May 6, 2010

From Sadness to Celebration in 62 Seconds: Part II

Country-Wide Party

  • While I usually like to travel around and get a taste of everything, I decided to stay in the capital for the entirety of Yom Ha’Atzmaut and really enjoy my Jerusalem experience.

  • And that, I did. I went from party to party seeing what it was all about. With Josh, Danielle (and some Nativers), we ventured out. We took a journey through the generations:
    • Tayelet – for young families
    • Fireworks over the merkaz for everyone to enjoy
    • Down town (Rehov Hillel) – for high schoolers
    • Shuk – for 18+ - this was spectacular! Mahaneh Yehuda was literally jam packed with people just having a good time. The area was so crowded it was hard to move.

    • Rikudai Am in Safra Square – for the older crowd (but not really). Even arriving at 2:30am, this is one of the most amazing things I have seen during my time here. It was a municipal plaza filled with hundreds of people of all ages dancing Rikudai Am(both folk and modern) together (WATCH HERE)! I have never seen so many people, from all walks of life, be so coordinated and dance together. This, I believe, was a TRUE Israeli moment.

  • There was just something about the celebration that made it very different than July 4th. Here, there is simply a lot of national pride and people celebrate the country’s independence like their best friend’s birthday.

  • The next morning, after waking up to Yerushalayim Shel Zahav on the radio, we set off to make a mangal. Lee, Danielle, and I organized a group of our friends and BBQed, like everyone else in the city, in Gan Soccer. Thank you to the Epstein Family for sponsoring this event. It was a blast! In true Israeli spirit, since our Mini (crap) Mangal stoves didn’t work, we borrowed our neighbors’.

  • Although the polls say that Israelis entered this Yom Ha’Atzmaut with few expectations for peace and their government in the coming year, the sight of a park filled with every type of citizen – black, white, eastern, western, Ashkenazi, Sephardi, doctor, and driver – all celebrating side-by-side (admittedly a bit of a rosy picture), gave me a glimmer of hope for the future of Israel.

    From From Sadness to Celebration in 62 Seconds

Mishlachat Extravaganza

Speaking of Israeli spirit, if there’s one thing we don’t understand in Camp, it is Mishlachat. Well, I didn’t until this year…

  • In February, I, with some other Berkshires peers, helped conduct interviews for the Summer 2010 Mishlachat. After many forms, tests, and other interviews, this was the end of the application process for them. But, for me, this was the beginning of understanding a different side of Camp. The shlichim we have in camp are essentially the best of the best Israelis (which is why many American kids think that all Israelis were commanders in elite combat units).

  • Once the Mishlachat is selected, they must go through intense training before coming to America. The main seminar, with over 500 shlichim, took place two weeks ago. They learn how to be representatives, work with American campers, and most of all they are psyched up for an amazing summer. Josh (Goldberg), Lee, and I were privileged to see this in action.

  • It was an incredible Shabbat!!! Now that I have seen almost the entire process forMishlachat, I have a new found appreciation for them. We had the opportunity to hang out with returning members of Mishlachat with whom we never got the chance to speak in camp. This year's group is wonderful!

  • We hope to convey what we've experience and seen on behalf of the Mishlachat to the rest of the American staff. I think if they understood what the Israelis have to go through in order to come to Camp they would better appreciate, befriend, and utilize these fantastic and talented people. In addition to gaining more appreciation for Mishlalchat, being at the seminar made me super excited for camp!

With the spirit of Am Yisrael,



· I don’t get it, it takes 6 million Jews to perish for Galgalatz to play three Hebrew songs in a row!

· Israelis love the tekes!

· I’m a native English speaker and have no idea what this means...


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