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A Unique Chol Hamoed Outing

YW-Misaskim Chol Hamoed-0046.jpg(Click HERE to see photos) It was Chol Hamoed Pesach. The weather was stunning, and six busses were getting ready to leave Boro Park on a Chol Hamoed outing. But this was not your ordinary trip to an amusement park. This was the Misaskim organization’s first time at arranging a trip like this, and it sure turned out to be spectacular!
Misaskim needs no introduction in their acts of Chesed, but this was Chesed was in the form of Simcha!
Six busses of children and their families were taken on a trip to John F Kennedy International Airport, were they had the opportunity to see some parts of one of the worlds largest airports – which ordinary civilians never see.
Much coordination and preparation went into the day’s activities, to ensure that everyone would have a fabulous time.
The busses left Boro Park at approximately 9:30AM – after each child was given their own camera to take their own photos – and arrived at the airport at 10:15AM.
After a brief instruction by the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) Chief, the group began their “behind the scenes tour”.
The first presentation was where the PAPD practices, and constantly trains for all aircraft emergencies – including large aircraft fires. All the equipment was on display for the children, and a PAPD Rescue official demonstrated how each piece of equipment is used in an emergency.
The group then watched in awe, as a large “demo airplane” was set on fire. The sirens wailed, and three tremendous fire trucks arrived on the “scene” and started to extinguish the blaze – which looked as if they were licking the sky.
A second, smaller demo aircraft then had its engines set ablaze, and rescue trucks also extinguished that blaze – demonstrating various rescue techniques.
The group then boarded Port Authority busses, and traveled the entire length of the runways, with huge, 747 jumbo jets touching down – ands taking off – just mere feet from the busses. At one point, the busses needed to stop and allow an aircraft to pass in front of it. The wind could literally be felt from the jets passing, as the busses shook.
The busses soon stopped on the opposite end of the airport, where each child had the opportunity to board a American Airlines Boeing 777, given to Misaskim by American Airlines for the day. One could see the excitement in the children’s eyes, as they climbed the steps, and then had the opportunity to sit down in a first class, business class, and coach section airplane seats. Many of the children then posed for pictures acting as the US President, as he traditionally disembarks from his aircraft.
The children and their families then boarded the busses once again, and stopped at a large area, graciously given to them for the day by the PAPD. There were dozens of tables set up, with all kinds of Kosher L’Pesach snacks, fruits, juices, snacks, Shicks Cakes etc. Everyone sat down and ate their lunches, and waited for the second half of the day to begin.
As everyone was enjoying their lunches, a special guest arrived. Hagon Rav Don Segal Shlita, the revered Mashgiach from Eretz Yisroel had made a special trip to the airport, and stepped out of the vehicle he arrived in. The Mashgiach then shook hands with, gave each child a personal Bracha, and “knipped” each child’s cheek – making them feel as if he were their own father.
After the Mashgiach left, everyone sat down – men on one side of the Mechitza, and women on the other, and music began to play; with Yom Tov Negunim sung by R’ Mechuel Schnitzler. The crowd then broke into a “rekida”, Likovid Yom Tov!
Freezing cold drinks were constantly being given out, as the sun was baking down on everyone. Thanks to Schick’s Bakery of Boro Park – for donating their refrigerated truck for the day, which enabled all the drink to be kept freezing cold.
The next part of the trip was quite interesting, first with an amazing illusionist leaving the audience spellbound, by performing various tricks and stunts, followed by a ventriloquist who left all the children – and adults – laughing their heads off.
At approximately 5:00PM, the day came to an end, and everyone boarded their busses back to Boro Park.
Upon arriving back in Boro Park, the Simcha seen on the faces of the children was indescribable. It certainly was a trip that they will remember forever.
Misaskim would like to publicly thank the PAPD for all their invaluable assistance throughout the day, and making this trip possible; as well as Monsey Trails, Shicks Bakery, S. Bertram Foods, Focus Cameras, Misaskim Staff & Volunteers, the JFK Staff.

(Yehuda Drugestein – YWN)

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