Opening Seminar of the Australian Zionist Youth Council (AZYC) Shnat Program in Israel, 1-5 February 2012.
Correspondence from shnat in Israel
10 February 2012
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The 144 Australian Shnatties landed and started their gap year on a high at the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA)/Australian Zionist Youth Council (AZYC) opening seminar from 31 January-5 February.
“The seminar was a huge success and it appears that we have a great group on the programs this year,” said ZFA Israel Director Yigal Sela. “The exciting reports to parents while they were on the buses back to the hotel pay witness to the success.”
Soon after arriving, after an excellent evening peula in which the various movements presented their ideologies and answered questions, the participants spent the day at Ramat David visiting the combat F16 squadron. The excursion included a visit to the briefing room, a presentation about the squadron, unique squadron footage of the Iraq nuclear facility, round table discussions with the pilots and ground crew on similarities and differences between life in Israel and the Diaspora, and a close-up view of the jet.
In the evening, the Australians had a private performance in Yafo of Mayumana, an Israeli dance and rhythm troupe.
On the final day, they visited the Kotel and Machane Yehuda Market (“The Shuk”), with a special yachad shabbat [Shabbat celebration] at Ma’ale HaHamisha, a kibbutz outside of Jerusalem.