Yom NCSY Talia W.

Finally!!! The day has come! YOM NCSY!!!!! We started the day off with a gap year fair with all of TJJ. We got to walk around and visit various different programs offered to us after high school. We got delicious food and candies as well as shirts and bracelets from all the different stations. For me going on a gap year has been something I have been thinking about a lot and is a very hard decision to make. We were able to hear from many different sorts of programs, from a university experience and touring at bar Ilan to Jewish studies intense learning at seminaries. Being able to here from advisors and from representatives from the programs helped in making my decisions a little bit easier.
After walking around and taking all the swag and candy we could we headed back on the bus to go to shalva children’s centre. Shalva is a place that provides care, support, therapy and much more for children with disabilities and their families. Shalva was founded by a family who had a healthy baby boy who as a result of a faulty vaccine was left blind deaf and hyperactive. The mother said that if Yossi, her baby boy was helped she would help other children with disabilities. Shalva just opened a new building. We got to tour their new state of the art absolutely stunning building. The building is an incredible 210 000 square feet. We got to see their basketball court, 1 of the two pools, play rooms, eating rooms, bedrooms, shul and theatre. On top of all that we also got to meet Yossi. He communicates through feeling sign language on his hand. My friend Leah told him her name using that method and after a couple tries he said her name. That moment he said her name and everyone in the room smiled and laughed is a moment I will remember forever. As well we got to hear from the Shalva band. They sang hallelujah and yerushalayim shel Zahav. They were incredible and are coming on tour soon! During the year I volunteered with disabled children and seeing this building and hearing all about the incredible things that Israel is doing for these children was incredibly inspiring for me and encouraged my to go back home and do more for these children in my community.
The final thing we did before YOM NCSY was go to shuk hacarmel in Tel Aviv. We had free time to walk around the shuk and we got to experience the Tel Aviv atmosphere.
Finally, YOM NCSY! As we walked off the bus we sang our song, Gam Ki Eilech. As we walked in we cheered and screamed and sang. Our goal was to be the loudest and most annoying group. For dinner, we had hamburgers, and I got to see and hang out with friends from last year and school friends. It was so good to see them and crazy that I am seeing my school friends in Israel. After eating dinner, we went into the stadium with all the other programs it was crazy to see all the different coloured shirts and to see the thousands of Jewish teenagers that have gathered together as one in their home land.