This past summer I not only got the chance to explore Poland and Prague, but also travel to the small, beautiful and diverse country of Israel. When I got off the bus in Israel, I didn’t know what to expect. Our amazing counselors made us close our eyes and walked us to a terrific view of Jerusalem. I will never forget the moment when I opened my eyes to gaze upon the beautiful buildings all made of Jerusalem stone. It was truly incredible. While in Israel, we explored its many historical sites. Our counselors were constantly giving us interesting information about each place and explaining its importance.
We traveled to Jerusalem, Tzfat, Tel Aviv, Sho’am, the Negev, Eilat, and many other interesting places. My personal favorite time in Israel was the Dead Sea. I have never been in anything like it. I knew it would be cool just floating on water, but I never thought it would be that crazy! I also will never forget my new all-time favorite food, shwarma. Every time our group would go on “Pizzoor” or free time, my friends and I would always go straight to the restaurants with shwarma. I miss those delicious lamb sandwiches with pita and hummus so much. One of my favorite experiences in Israel was going to visit the Bedouin tents. We all got to ride on camels, buy exotic clothing, and indulge in delicious food. The next morning we woke up at 3 am and drove to the bottom of Mount Masada to hike up to see the sunrise. I loved being with my new close friends, just hanging out watching the sunrise. It was quite beautiful. Above all, my trip to Israel strengthened my sense of Jewish identity. I loved spending five weeks with other Jewish teens and meeting and traveling with Israeli teens also. I now understand how important it is for us to support and sustain Israel for future generations. I will never forget this memorable summer in Israel.