Neshama 32's Final Days in Israel

By Peri Newman '24

Sadly no one wants to write the ending to this wonderful three month adventure. It is one no one wanted to end. On Tuesday morning we could sleep in, but not so much because we had to get our second suitcase and start the repacking process. After a bit of packing, we all walked across the street to the park for our Yom Ha'atzmaut BBQ where we made burgers, salad, and various fruits. Some relaxed in the sun and others played soccer. After the BBQ, a GOA alum came to talk with us about making Aliyah, his army experience and his love for Israel. Our dear madrichim planned one final activity where we reflected on our past adventures through pictures, which we had to put in a timeline, and through responses that were submitted earlier on in the week. Then our final Agron dinner!! After dinner, we had various activities planned by our lovely senior students. They included writing our favorite moments and sharing them out loud, writing letters to every single person in our grade to read when we get back, and a paint disaster. We each put a white shirt on and went to the park for a messy project. We had different color paints to represent different prompts. Every person got to stand in the middle and pick the color that connects to your experience with them. Everyone was covering each other with paint, getting messy and full of smiles and happiness as our last night came to an end. 
Emotional, is how everyone felt as we woke up for the last time in the Agron with a full day of activities and sadness. We checked out of the Agron and walked to the town of Yemin Moshe to daven Shachrit with a view of the old city. Afterwards it was time for our last pizzur at Machane Yehuda. People feasted and bought last minute gifts. Once we got back to the Agron, we had our final Zman Mishpachah. My mishpachah played a game where we either had to guess the drawing or make the drawing and we kept passing it in a circle. Then we went to partners and answered some fun questions. As Zman Mishpachah was coming to an end, Aya read us a beautiful letter which made all of us emotional. Then for the final activity of the night, we each showed up in our new Neshama 32 hoodies. It was the final ceremony of Neshama. Jack and Yoni were our MCs and hosted a talk show with the seniors who spoke about their favorite memories of a moment that made them laugh. Once that concluded, we gave our madrichim gifts and watched a slide show of every moment since we touched down in Israel, created by Talia and her crew.

Then came paper plate awards that were given to each senior with funny inside jokes that were made on the trip. Everyone was emotional at that point, but that all changed once dinner came, which was sushi and noodles. Our wonderful madrichim gave us a magnet with two photos from Neshama on it to truly remember this wonderful experience. Once the sushi was devoured, it came time to finally get all of our belongings and load it on the bus. Sadly the moment we dreaded had come. Checking our bags, going through security, and the one no one wanted to do, say goodbye to Rob, Aya, Yuval, Bar, Sisso, Re’em, and of course Israel. This moment moved everyone to tears. This is an amazing, incredible experience that I will never forget, and I am so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to have gone on this trip. Well I’m guessing now if you’re reading this we have landed and our Neshama journey has come to an end. Goodbye for the last time.