Monday, August 8, 2011

Maccabi Kids in Ashkelon

Over the last weekend in July, along with the 20 Diller Teen Fellows, we also hosted about 70 Maccabi kids aged 13-17 yrs old.The Baltimore Maccabi kids were in Israel to participate in the Maccabi Artsfest competitions along with teens from Jewish federations all over the world. Ashkelon families welcomed them into our homes for the weekend.

On Friday, two full busloads of Maccabi kids arrived at Ashkelon's Delilah beach where their Host families anxiously awaited them. Unfortunately Maccabi changed the arrival time and the full program of sports and beach games that we had prepared to welcome the Maccabi kids had to be cancelled at the last moment as their final arrival time in Ashkelon was very close to the start of Shabbat. The beach area that one minute was full of excited Maccabi kids and Ashkelon hosts, was clear the next minute as the Maccabi pairs were collected by their hosts and taken home for Friday night Shabbat dinner and a weekend of warm hospitality, Ashkelon style!

During the weekend, the kids relaxed with their host families at the beach or at the pool, some were taken on tiyulim or to movies, some went sailing - each family hosted their guest in their own special way.

On Saturday evening, after Shabbat, everyone met up for an interactive Havdalah event at Beit Vosk, and it was clear that close relationships between the Ashkelonis and their Baltimore guests had already been formed. Everyone was in high spirits and very happy. The event ended with everyone dancing and singing.

Early Sunday morning, after a fun-packed weekend, the hosts delivered their young guests to the collection area for the trip to Jerusalem and the continuation of their Maccabi activities.

Sigal "Hosting such a big group over the summer vacation when many people are away, and while the Dillers were also in town, was a real challenge. My staff Nicole and Einav outdid themselves coordinating the host families for this weekend. It was a real team effort, and I would also like to thank Marcelo Burdman, Liza Aharon and the Ashkelon sports center coaches, for arranging the welcome activities: the beach games, climbing wall, zumba and sports that unfortunately had to be cancelled at the last minute.  "

Reactions from everyone involved in this super weekend were very enthusiastic, everyone enjoyed themselves, host families and Maccabi teens alike. The close relationships that were formed will last a lifetime. Facebook and emails are already being exchanged.
Welcome Sign at Delilah Beach
Ron Siegel and his daughter were hosted by Einat Tourjeman

  Anat Peled - our Magic Moments 2011 Coordinator
and her family hosted FOUR Maccabi boys for the weekend

Anat Peled serving Friday night dinner
 to 4 hungry Maccabi boys
Pnina Rimon and family with their 2 Maccabi guests
The Rimon family and their guests on a tour of the city
Picture taken on the clifftop promenade above the beach
Welcome screen at the Motzei Shabbat event

Our new shinshinim to Baltimore, Shani Yamin & Roi Dor
came to greet the Maccabi teens

Dancing round the hall

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