First Day at Achuzat Sara!
Welcome to the Achuzat Sara Summer Program 2K17 Blog!!! WARNING: Beware that if you read these blogs you will hear first-hand accounts of American inspirations undertaking vast tasks and achieving lofty goals. From working on their characters to saving their fellow members of Am Yisrael who are less privileged. Not only will these volunteers have a great summer with lots of fun, they will generate fun and smiles for those that do not have many other sources of happiness in their life. They will touch souls and their souls will be touched. So be careful, because this great, fun, kind group is taking Achuzat by storm. They're ready to give it their all and they will be saving world. It's just day 1 and Achuzat is already soaring to meet these fantastical expectations. I always dread the seemingly endless flight to Israel. But even the thought of 9 claustrophobic hours, could not sour my mood as I walked into the airport. I was so excited to be back. Sorry, I haven't formally introduced myself yet. I'm Jon Katzman, and I'm a second year at Achuzat. Achuzat Sara last summer was the best experience of my life. It was so meaningful that I just had to come back. It wasn't even a decision. As I walked out of the gates of Achuzat Sara last summer, I said I will definitely be back here next summer. Though I was very excited, some of the first-years seemed a little nervous and confused about what exactly goes on in the homes. I don't blame them, last summer I was terrified and had no idea what to expect. They'll get it soon. The flight was actually really nice. There are some really nice, friendly volunteers at all four homes this summer. I really enjoyed getting to know a lot of them over the past day. The fun started the second we landed. We were met by HaRav Yair Eisenstock, who in his classic fashion would not greet us until we did push ups and kissed the holy ground of Israel. Don't ask questions. That's just the way he is. Then we went to a forest area for Ice Breakers. Our ice breaker was you say your name and an adjective with the first letter of your first name. For example, Moshe was marvelous Moshe and Dylan was delicious Dylan. I was jumping Jon. Yes, I know that jumping is a verb and not an adjective. But I wanted to do it anyway so I did. We then were given inspirational speeches by our coordinator Tank (his real name is Jacob but he is like seven feet tall and built like a tank so everyone calls him tank, you can't walk through Achuzat Sara without hearing a little kid ask איפה טנק?״") and Rav Yair. We discussed the importance of our work and the potential that this summer has. After this preparation, we were finally ready to go to the Kotel. Everyone prayed for their hopes and dreams this summer. Hopefully, all these prayers are answered. We went for dinner in Herzeliya at a delicious restaurant. The food was amazing and after we finished eating we pushed the tables to the side and blasted Hebrew music. The ruach was off the charts. Everyone was so happy to be here and we danced for a really long time. Great way to get the summer going! Now I am sitting in the back of the bus on the way to shlomit, where we will be staying for Shabbat. Despite everyone's lack of sleep, the bus is vibrant. Everyone is getting to know each other. We are already starting to bond. We're all going to get so close this summer. Words cannot describe my excitement.