When the train arrives this afternoon, the group will be joined by another 1,500 MASA participants and together with the city's youth group and a marching band, they will lead a parade from the municipality to the old city, as part of their show of support for the city's residents.
The evening will culminate with a concert honoring the city, with a celebration that Cabinet Secretary Yisrael Maimon, Jewish Agency chair Zeev Bielski, and Acre mayor Shimon Lankri, are expected to attend.
One of the songs will be dedicated to the memory of Michael Levine, the U.S.-born soldier who was killed in the war this summer and who was a graduate of Nativ, the Conservative movement's post-high school program.
Throughout the north-bound train ride, the MASA participants will be accompanied by musicians, as well as IDF soldiers who fought in Lebanon. Groups that participate in MASA, which literally means journey, will spend at least one week in the coming months helping to rehabilitate the North, clean bomb shelters, or work to clean up forests that were affected by the month-long fighting.
A joint initiative of the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government, MASA will bring an estimated 9,000 young Jews to Israel for long-term programs throughout the 2006-2007 academic year, the highest turnout since the program was established three years ago.
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