It was another three shehehiyanu day. The first two were pretty standard, but the third was fantastic. It was only for three buses (120 participants), there was fun Israeli music playing on the stereo, students were dancing, everyone was pretty laid back. It was almost sunset, and the city looked amazing. The ceremony was short (I've never seen larger challahs in my life!) and we had three students speak about what it meant to finally be in Jerusalem. One said, "we've been to Masada, we've been to the Golan, we've been to Tel Aviv. Those were all places, but Jerusalem, this is a feeling".
The long-awaited celebration of the 100,000th participant is tomorrow at the Mega-event. It's a funny name, but that's what it's been called for the last 7 years. Gaia is out, and some new singer is in. The prime minister is in France, so security shouldn't be so bad, and at least we know there will be good food at the VIP reception. We have a booth there, and I was outvoted on what we should do there. I wanted to give out blue string bracelets, similar to the red kabbalah ones that everyone gets in either Tzfat or the Old City. Some people (who I promised not to name) thought it was a bit too cultish. I figure if we're trying to take advantage of popular culture, why not? The idea we're going with was also a good one, just not mine. We're going to have big rolls of butcher block paper and have students write graffiti on the walls of the booth. They tell me it was successful in the past and I think it could be pretty cool.
While we've brought nearly 22,000 participants from the US out of a world-wide total of 100,000, we (Hillel) don't have the 100,000th participant. She's from Shorashim. If it wasn't going to be us, we're happy that it's them, and given the amount of work they've said has been involved, I'm definitely glad it's one of theirs.