ORTHODOX UNION AND NCSY TAKE EXTRA SECURITY MEASURES TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF YOUNGSTERS ON ISRAEL SUMMER TRIPS
With as many as seven different summer programs already in Israel or traveling there this summer, the leaders of NSCY, the youth movement of the Orthodox Union, have heard the gamut of possible reactions. “But parents,” says Rabbi Steven Burg, NCSY’s National Director, “have overwhelmingly endorsed the measures we have taken to ensure their children’s safety.”
Indeed, not more than a handful of the parents of the close to 1,000 participants have chosen to cancel or to have their child come home early. “We are in daily communication with the Israeli Defense Forces,” says David Cutler, who directs the programs. “We do not go anywhere without the clearance of the army.”
The itineraries for the programs already in Israel such as The Jerusalem Journey, Michlelet, NCSY Kollel, Girls Israel Volunteer Experience and NCSY’s Eurotrip, have been changed to avoid trips to the northern part of the country. “Our day to day experience does not involve missiles or bombs,” said Rabbi Moshe Benovitz, Director of the NCSY Kollel, a popular Torah study program for high school boys located in Beit Meir, near Jerusalem. “Learning Torah in Israel is extremely meaningful to the boys right now, as they dedicate their efforts to those who are on the front lines.”
“In an e-mail to one of our students, a parent even expressed how envious he is of his son’s opportunity to study in Israel during this time,” he added.
Martin Nachimson of Los Angeles, CA, who chairs NCSY’s lay Commission for the OU, says he receives a daily briefing on the activities of each program. “They are doing a great job of balancing the security needs with their commitment to ensuring that the youngsters have a fulfilling summer. Added to that, the spiritual dimension of being in Israel at this time certainly makes for an unforgettable experience.”
For further information on NCSY’s summer programs in Israel, contact David Cutler at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the summer programs update hotline at 212.613.8357.