NCSY GIVE WEST: Banquet Speech (Tamar Wiederkehr, Teaneck NJ)
When I first signed up for GIVE West, I was looking for something fun and different than every other camp I’ve been to. As I’m sure it was for all of you, the beginning was kind of awkward! The first few days might have been a little hard because they were just the first few days you know? But once Shabbos came, everything started turning around. On Shabbos I feel like we all started becoming more comfortable with each other and started to get to know each other better. One moment that really stood out to me that Shabbos was playing Jewish ‘Would you Rather’ with the advisors. We discussed certain questions that I would have never thought of before like would I rather be loved or feared. It started getting me thinking about life in general. It made me want to learn and grow more, to do more activities and hear more shiurim like that. Since then I have learned so much from the other girls on this program. It is refreshing to be around so many positive girls. The kumtzitz on the beach was one of the most inspiring kumzitzes I’ve ever had! From hearing so many different people speak and singing all together I really had a different outlook on life. Along with going to food banks and soup kitchens, I’ve really started to appreciate my life more and more each day. I would not have been able to get through this summer without all of you guys! Every one of you made a huge impact on me and I just wanted to thank you for that. I know it was only a three-week program, but the connections I’ve made with each and every one of you make me feel like we are all one family. It’s very hard to say goodbye because I will miss all of you but I’m confident that we will keep in touch!! Thank you to Leah and Ariella and all of our amazing advisors for investing so much time and energy into this program and making it the best it can be!! This really was the best summer ever!
NCSY GIVE WEST: Banquet Video
NCSY GIVE WEST: Day 21 (Wednesday)
Today we went to the Oregon Food Bank and worked to package carrots in a room that felt like a giant refrigerator! Working with my group was so fun! We were singing, scooping, packing, weighing, and taping – it required a lot of achdut! Afterward, we were treated to a yummy salad bar in a park and went ice skating at the Lloyd Center. After we skated, we hung out in the mall – some of us even rented “Happy Friend” electronic animals to ride on. Later in the afternoon, we visited Maayan Jewish Day School in Portland that recently moved into a new building and needed a lot of help setting up for the upcoming school year – GW TO THE RESCUE! We decorated bulletin boards, carried boxes, organized books, arranged their outdoor areas, and more. After that, Gavriela and Yishai made us a delicious barbecue! When we got back to camp we had chaburah and enjoyed delicious ices and treats! Another amazing day with the best program ever!!
Aleeza Feuerstein, Oak Park, MI
NCSY GIVE WEST: DAY 20 (Tuesday)
Today we said goodbye to California and hello to Oregon! We started our day off in Redding, CA with davening and breakfast, and drove for 7 hours (with rest stops!) to Portland, OR. On the bus, we watched inspirational videos and fun movies, and hung out with each other on the bus! When we arrived in Portland we went to the JCC and had chaburah and a delicious dinner! We then drove to Portland State University, where we will be staying for the next three days. We can’t wait for our first day here tomorrow!!
NCSY GIVE WEST: Day 19 (Monday)
Today we woke up bright and early (7am!) so that we could get out early and beat the traffic to San Francisco! We started the day off with walking the Golden Gate Bridge. Although it was a bit of a climate change, every minute was worth seeing the beyond beautiful sights. Witnessing this really gave us a new appreciation for Hashem’s wonders. After, we got to explore the city of San Francisco and see their famous landmarks such as the Painted Ladies, Union Square, Ghirardelli Square, and Fisherman’s Wharf. We also experienced a fun trolly ride through the streets of San Francisco. Lastly, we ended off our day with a meal that was so kindly hosted by the Chabad house of the University of Berkley. Their hospitality and generosity truly inspired us! Now we are off to Redding, CA where we will spend the night. Can’t wait for tomorrow!
Malky Gutnicki, Clifton, NJ
Yonina Grauer, Thornhill, ON
NCSY GIVE WEST: Day 18 (Sunday)
We started out the day with a strenuous hike to the Hollywood sign. Afterward, we proceeded to say goodbye to Los Angeles and made our way to Santa Clara. The bus ride was long yet lots of fun! We stopped off at Walmart to replenish our food selection and continued on our way. When we finally arrived at the Santa Clara University, we ended off the day with a bang and enjoyed a delectable dinner that consisted of chicken fingers and salad! Can’t wait for tomorrow!!
Talia Cinamon, Cedarhurst, NY
NCSY GIVE WEST: Day 17 (Shabbos)
We started off Shabbos day by walking to the Beth Jacob shul in LA and davening with a beautiful Minyan. After the Minyan, we were treated to a nice kiddish in the shul. Then we all learned about the importance of being the Chosen Nation and what it means to us. After that, we had an amazing lunch sponsored by Touro College and Dvar Torah from Dr. Luchins. We were so lucky to have the Kleinmans and the Luchins join us for lunch. After lunch, we all went back to our host’s house and enjoyed a fun and relaxing afternoon. Later that day, we came back to the shul for Mincha and then had a delicious Shaloshudes. After dinner, we had a kumzitz and sang Shabbos away. Then we listened to a beautiful Havdalah. After Shabbos, we played a meaningful game where a few people stood in the middle of the circle while Leah stated a quality. Everyone put their heads down and the girls in the middle tapped the head of the girls that they thought fit that quality. This activity made us all feel very special. We were then treated to ice cream and waffles at our melave malka. We then ended our night by going back to our host’s house. We are really excited for the next week, and are so sad that it’s almost ending!
Leora Friedman, North Woodmere, NY
Elana Ginsberg, Teaneck, NJ
NCSY GIVE WEST: Day 16 (Friday)
Today was amazing. We started the day off with davening, breakfast, and chaburah. After that we went to the Warner Brothers studio where we saw all our favorite TV shows and movie sets. There, they also showed us where famous movies were filmed and how they would make the set look different so they can use them in other movies. My favorite set of all was the “Friends” set, because we got to sit on the iconic friends couch where we got to take amazing photos with our real friends! After an incredible day at the Warner Brothers studio we went to the West Coast NCSY headquarters for our hosts to pick us up for Shabbos.
Hadass Gerlitz, Boca Raton, FL