My name is Jessie Feinstein and I went on USY Israel Pilgrimage: L’Takayn Olam this past summer! L’Takayn Olam is a four-week long trip where you travel all throughout Israel and participate in a number of different community service activities. From building mosaics at schools for children with disabilities to picking vegetables to feed over 800 families to beautifying Israel by cleaning up forests and planting trees, L’Takayn Olam is the perfect balance between enjoying everything Israel has to offer and giving back to the nation we all deeply love. A typical day is filled with volunteering in the morning and fun activities in the afternoon. This trip goes beyond sight-seeing because it allows you to see what is really going on in Israel and gives you the opportunity to make a difference.
One of my favorite memories from pilgrimage was when I volunteered at a school for children with Cerebral Palsy in Haifa. I met a beautiful little girl there who didn’t speak a word of English, while I couldn’t speak a word of Hebrew. After days of playing, swimming, and dancing together we developed a special relationship that I will take with me for the rest of my life. I learned how language isn’t always necessary when developing a relationship with someone, and how much of an impact a simple smile can have on another person. When we finally had to say goodbye, I learned how to say “I love you” to her in Hebrew and she wrapped her little arms around me and gave me a hug for the first time. My experience with her is a big part of my connection to Israel.
For more information on how you can spend your summer with USY and to sign up please visit the International USY Website athttp://www.usy.org/escape/
Waddle Like it’s Hot,
Pines Chapter President 2013-2014
HaNegev Regional Social Action Chair 2013-2014