By Zachary Berman and Emily Blank, Kutz16 Participants
The Gibush program at Kutz provides a welcoming summer home for teens on the autism spectrum. The program aims to create long-lasting relationships between the participants of the Gibush program, tzofim, and their friends, chaverim, in the Mitzvah Corps Major. The chaverim, in addition to befriending the tzofim, encourage the tzofim to participate new experiences in order to exit their comfort zones. The word ‘gibush’ roughly translates to, “together,” and the entire program values the time we spend together.
On Thursday, the Gibush participants, staff, and friends, came together to spend their trip day morning at the New York Hall of Science. At the museum, we explored many interactive exhibits regarding space, the environment, motion, and more. Some of our favorite exhibits were the giant bubbles, the house of mirrors, and the motion in sports exhibit. In addition, we also saw exhibits about the body, outer space and mathematics.
After an exciting morning at the Science Museum, we loaded the buses and headed to Times Square. There, the tzofim and staff went to a souvenir shop and had dinner at a barbecue restaurant. The chaverim had time to explore Times Square. Everyone ended the day seeing one of six Broadway shows. Both the tzofim and chaverim loved seeing a live Broadway musical of their choice.
Overall, everybody had an unforgettable trip day! While the chaverim encouraged the tzofim to step out of their comfort zones in order to encounter new experiences, everybody agreed that we all came across new experiences and learned new facts and ideas to bring back to our home communities.
Zachary Berman is a member of Temple Dor Dorim in Weston, Florida. He is a member of NFTY Southern Tropical Region.
Emily Blank is a member of Temple Chaverim in Plainview, New York. She is a member of NFTY New York Area Region.