Baltimore teens spending a year in Israel visit Ashkelon thanks to the MASA Baltimore Encounters Shabbaton.
May 27, 2010 / 14 Sivan 5770
A group of Baltimore teens studying at yeshivot in Israel were able to spend a special Shabbat in Ashkelon thanks to MASA Baltimore Encounters.
Thirteen young men (ages 18-19) participated in a Shabbaton in Ashkelon May 14-15, 2010, as part of MASA Baltimore Encounters in cooperation with The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore and the Baltimore – Ashkelon Partnership. Netanel Lanzkron, the MASA coordinator, accompanied the boys on the Shabbaton.
"I really enjoyed the Shabbat in Ashkelon. It was good to be in a community where Baltimore has such an effect," said one of the participants, Yoni Spigelman.
The teens were welcomed by Avi Gutstein from the Torat Chayim Yeshivah who helped coordinate the weekend. Highlights included a visit to the National Archeological Park of Ashkelon, time spent on the beach of Ashkelon, and a visit to "Baltimore Park" in Ashkelon - a square donated by the Baltimore Jewish community. Sigal Ariely, the Ashkelon-Baltimore Partnership Director, spoke to the group about the Partnership.
The teens spent Shabbat dinner at the yeshiva and then visited the home of Ashkelon's Chief Rabbi Yosef Chayim Bloy who gave a dvar Torah. The third meal on Shabbat was spent with local yeshiva students.
Before returning to Jerusalem, the students visited Moshav Otzem in the South of Israel, and played basketball and had a bbq with additional yeshiva students.
"The Shabbaton in Ashkelon was a very meaningful experience. The community was very nice and warm. Our counselor Netanel really enhanced our Shabbat. Thank you to Masa, the Ashkelon community and everyone else for an unforgettable Shabbat," said Nathan Altshuler.