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Parashat Devarim

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Sinai Temple - 10400 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90024 Phone (310) 474-1518 Fax (310) 474-6801
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10400 Wilshire Blvd.   Los Angeles, CA. 90024   Phone (310) 474-1518   Fax (310) 474-6801

 

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Nazarian
The David and Angella Nazarian Youth Leadership Program is an elite nine month program for ten 9th grade Sinai Temple students. Through sessions (two hours per session including interactive team building, education seminars, and stimulating peer and mentor/mentee conversations) and a winter break trip leadership mission to Israel, these students will become instilled with values of Judaism and leadership, develop a love for the land and people of both Israel and Los Angeles, build a connection to Sinai Temple, and learn about other Jewish organizations where they can further develop their Jewish leadership training after the completion of the program. Below you will find our daily updates about our Israel Leadership Mission 2012:
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Day One - David Strauss and Melissa Simon Day Two - Samantha Bordy and Joseph Levy
Day Three -  Isaac Gadinsky and Josh Resin
Day Four - Kayla Mossanen and Robert Iancu Day Five - Stephanie West and Danielle Berlin Day Six - Kayla Mossanen and Danielle Berlin
Day Seven - Kayla Mossanen    
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dateDate:  December 31, 2012 authorAuthors: Kayla Mossanen
Subject: Day Seven

Last Day

Wow!!! I cannot believe that this is our last day in our land of Eretz Israel. Today we packed our bags and headed out of the Prima Kings hotel in Jerusalem. We started off this day by going to the Knesset, where we got a tour of the Parliament, and saw how our democracy works and operates. In the Knesset the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu passes laws and solves the problems of the country. It was such an amazing experience to walk through the building where our country is run. Afterwards we headed to Yad LaKashish center. Yad LaKashish provides a creative work environment, and gives support to the elderly, which includes helping with financial assistance. It was so wonderful to see the elderly smile, and have hope in their eyes. It made their day when they saw us complementing them on the work and admiring what they do. After the elderly finish a project, their work is displayed in the gift shop and is sold so that they can make a little money. The fellows enjoyed lunch and shopping in Israel’s biggest mall. It was a great way to hang out and get gifts for our families. We then visited Har Herzl, Israel’s national cemetery as well as the burial site for prominent Zionists, Israeli politicians and those figures who greatly influence the state of Israel. These Zionists include, Theodore Herzl, Ze’ev Jabotinski, Yitzhak Rabin, and Golda Meir. We were all so emotional standing in front of these monumental graves and remembering all that these people have done for Israel. The group continued down the mountain to the Herzl Vision Experience, where we witnessed “Herzl’s Dream”, an interactive tour through the life and times of Zionism’s founder. After we were done we headed back to the hotel to get ready. The fellows then enjoyed our farewell dinner in the famous Anna Ticho House. We had a wonderful meal while we discussed the trip, what we have learned, and what skills we will take back to Los Angeles to continue being advocates for this great land. Afterwards we said our goodbyes and departed for the Ben Gurion International Airport for our flight back to our home away from home with our everlasting memories of Israel. Visiting Israel made me realize that all Jews are responsible for one another no matter where in the world we live.

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dateDate:  December 30, 2012 authorAuthors: Kayla Mossanen and Danielle Berlin
Subject: Day Six

We started off our Sunday morning with prayer and breakfast. The fellows headed off to Be'er Sheva, where we went to an absorption center. At the center, Ethiopian families who immigrated to Israel come and adapt to the life styles of Israelis. They learn Hebrew which is the basis of everything else they will learn throughout the two years spent at the center. The Ethiopian immigrants also learn how to work and care for their family. Children go to public school, and then have special programs to help strengthen their hinuch, or education. The support given to the families, and the resources that the center has in order to accomplish what they do is unbelievable. It has touched all our hearts and we wish them best of luck in the years to come.

We continued our leadership mission by meeting Bedouin teens that live in Amara. The whole group discussed our daily lives and what connects us; hobbies and school. We ate a delicious kosher meal with all the teens, and connected with them on a different level. The Nazarian fellows will never forget this special experience.

Our last stop on our journey in the scenic city of Be'er Sheva was a camel ride. The wind blowing through our hair and exploring the path made the whole group feel a part of the land.

The night was spent at the Jewish Quarter, where we ate dinner, and shopped. It was the perfect Jerusalem weather to take a stroll back to our hotel. We took the time to pack and hang out before we head back home.

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dateDate:  December 29, 2012 authorAuthors: Stephanie West and Danielle Berlin
Subject: Day Five

We kicked off Shabbat morning with a late start and a relaxed breakfast. After that, we went to the Great Synagogue which was an amazing experience. The girls were separated from the boys and it was a challenge to follow the quick pace of the Hebrew service. It was a very meaningful experience that took us out of our comfort zone.

Shabbat is the day of rest, so it only made sense to spend the day rejuvenating. We spent time together at the hotel and it was the perfect opportunity to get to know each other more. The previous day we were each given a challenge to accomplish, so before havdalah, we revealed what our challenges were and why we were given them. We shared the leadership skill that we needed to work on, and how we would try to work on it. By accepting these critiques, we learned how to give and receive constructive criticism in a positive way.

After our discussion about our challenges, we talked to Matt about what it means to us to be a Jewish leader. It was very interesting, and made us realize the great affect we can have on our peers. Later, we started the havdalah service. We taught a new song to the group called "Hamalach Hagoel", and sang many other songs. It brought us together as a community and increased our bonds.

For dinner, we went to emik refayim, a hip street in Jerusalem. Then, we attended a play put on my Kol Haot. The one-man show was performed very impressively and the play told the story of the lights and beauty of Jerusalem. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful
Shabbat.

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dateDate:  December 28, 2012 authorAuthors:  Kayla Mossanen and Robert Iancu
Subject: Day Four

We started off our day with a meaningful discussion about Shabbat. We had asked all the fellows to share an experience of how they rejuvenate themselves. After having breakfast, the Nazarian fellows embarked on a spiritual journey at Kol Haot. Kol Haot is a values workshop where we learned about midot or traits of a leader through poems, and collages. Next we made our own leadership collages portraying midot that relate to ourselves.

Following our lesson on how to be a leader, we visited Aleh--an organization that helps kids with special needs. Our group split up into different classrooms and joined in their Kabbalat Shabbat celebration. Getting to spend time with them didn't just put smiles on these wonderful kids faces, but also ours. This brightened our day, and taught us that we should be grateful for the lives that we live, and we should appreciate everyday that we experience a different side of the world. We even got a tour of the building. These kids live, get their treatment, and go to school all in one place. They have an amazing medical center, and comfortable rooms with beautiful views of the city. The volunteers dedicate so much of their time these children. They are true angels.

For lunch, we got to live how typical Israelis live, by enjoying some time at Machane Yehuda. We were freed into the craziness of this shuk and were off to an unforgettable experience. Before entering, each person was assigned a "shabbudy" to get a gift for a random member of the group while at the shuk. It was great searching everywhere for the perfect gift for each other, and then bargaining for a reasonable price. We also enjoyed some typical Israeli food, and then joined together to swap gifts.

The best part of the week came along, and the group walked over to the Wailing Wall for a wonderful Shabbat celebration. We prayed and danced, and felt the ruach of the Kotel. We concluded our night with home hospitality, where an orthodox family welcomed us into their home with open arms. The hosts Chaia and Hillel, shared with us a Shabbat we will never forget. We had an amazing homed cooked meal, and felt the spiritual connection of Shabbat in Jerusalem.

Nazarian 2012-2013 Nazarian 2012-2013 Nazarian 2012-2013
Nazarian fellows volunteering at Aleh in Jerusalem - a homeschool and hospital for kids and young adults with severe special needs.
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dateDate:  December 27, 2012 authorAuthors:  Isaac Gadinsky and Josh Resin
Subject: Day Three

Our first tefillot session in Jerusalem was finally here. We led an interpretive service including outside Amidah prayer and discussions about criticism and leadership. Following breakfast, we got in the mindset for the somber portion of our day with our drive through the holy city of Jerusalem to Yad Vashem. With the leadership of an incredible guide, we learned about the Holocaust, paid our respects in the children's memorial and gazed down the bottomless pit in the hall of names. We learned about the true meaning of Yad Vashem, literally translating to mean a "memory" and a "name". With that in mind we reflected on the past of our people and the memories of many holocaust victims and survivors alive as we had a session with an amazing speaker and educational programmer in a Yad Vashem seminar hall. We discussed the many perspectives on the holocaust and how the war shaped our past, future and present and may we never forget.

We proceeded to our "seamline tour" of the conflicts among the Palestinians and the Israelis and acquired an understanding of the issues that plague Israel today and our response to these issues as we drove by the security fence. As the day progressed we continued to experience how the past paved the way for our nation now and where we are today.

Following a quick stop for picture taking at an overlook of Jerusalem we visited YMCA where we could see how despite the conflicts we have with Arabs and Palestinians, the respect for each other and peaceful coexistence does exist. After getting to know children of the YMCA program and exchanging contact information, we swiftly went to Mamilla, Jerusalem's newest shopping and leisure plaza as well as mall filled with Judaica and coffee shops. We had a bite to eat and the we were off to the light show! A unique experience featuring the history of Israel's capital through light and sound projected on the ancient walls of the tower of David. The day was rich with the history of our people and experiences we will never forget with a wide range of feelings. A emotional day for us all, we cried together, laughed together and celebrated together the many faces of Jewish history as well as our homeland. We look forward to what tomorrow has in store for us and catch our breath from the crazy roller coaster of emotions we experienced today.


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dateDate:  December 26, 2012 authorAuthors:  Samantha Bordy and Joseph Levy
Subject: Day Two

Today during tefillot we discussed the relationship between leaders and their spirituality. At the beginning of the day we went to Neot Kedumim which is a park that is a replica of what Israel looked like in biblical times. While there we participated in team building activities. Robert and Joseph were very good at sheep herding! We had to use a lot of different techniques to get the sheep to move from one place to another.

After that we made the long drive to Jerusalem. Once there, we drove through the four quarters of the old city and stopped at the City of David. In the City of David we walked through the old irrigation and water tunnels. It was really fascinating to see what humans could do without modern technology.

When we finished visiting the irrigation tunnel we went to the Kotel. There we all prayed by the wall and put our notes into the cracks. It was really moving to see the amount of people who go to the kotel daily; surprisingly not all Jewish. On the men's side, people were offering their help with teffilin. On the girls side, people were very nice about sharing the small amount of space.
After spending time in the Jewish quarter we went to meet some local teens at the Noam program. Stereotypically, they were late. But even so we had a great time getting to know them and comparing lives in the two places. Surprisingly we had a lot in common. I guess teens everywhere do the same sorts of things.

Had a great day! Can't wait for tomorrow's adventures.

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dateDate:  December 25, 2012 authorAuthors:  David Strauss and Melissa Simon
Subject: Day One

We arrived safely yesterday in Tel Aviv and ate a nice dinner at Magganda restaurant.We started the day by doing tefillot followed by eating a traditional Israeli breakfast in the hotel. Even though prayers were brief, we had a nice discussion about the leadership skills we were going to work on throughout the day.

Our first stop was the Weizmann center which was both a museum and a science school in which people did research on various topics. When we got there, one of the students demonstrated many different small science experiments. Then, we watched a movie that explained to us the various projects that the scientists were working on at the center.

Our next stop was the IDF base. We ate lunch with the soldiers and we were taken on a tour of the base. We went through the different training simulations that the actual soldiers use in order to train. The soldiers were very kind to us and answered our many questions about their lifestyle and army training.

Our last stop of the day was a museum for the blind. A blind tour guide took us through the interactive museum where we did activities in a pitch black room, being able to experience the life of a blind person. At the end of the tour, we had the opportunity to ask the blind tour guide about his life and how he manages to perform normal daily tasks.

For dinner, we walked to a restaurant near our hotel. The restaurant was on the beach and we had a beautiful view of the Tel Aviv beaches of Israel. Although we were all exhausted from the long plane ride, it was a great start of our trip!

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Sinai Temple is a partnership between its clergy, staff, lay leaders and devoted members who are committed to supporting the tradition and vision of Sinai Temple. Your gift to Sinai Temple will enable us to continue these holy tasks for years to come. Thank you for helping us to bring our history, our beliefs and our promise to a new generation.
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