Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Sunday,
Aug 02nd

IST, ISLI, Free Spirit — they all spell Teens in Israel

E-mail Print PDF

From left: IST participants Kira Altman, Shayna Goldstein, Arin Simon, Madi Esses and Ilana WurmanIsrael. One word. Enough said. That is, if you have been to Israel, and walked the path of Abraham, Moses and David Ben-Gurion.

For Jewish teens living in America today, “Israel is like this place that I’m told to have a deep connection with.” It’s hard to understand the deep history that is read about in the Torah.

But after landing in Israel and breathing the saltwater in Tel Aviv, feeling the cold touch of the Western Wall, and eating the warm, crunchy falafel, a forever connection to Israel is created. Israel is that friend who will always be there for you, no matter what you are going through.

Kyle Nowak, Denver Jewish Day School senior, was one of 100 students on BBYO’s International Leadership Seminar in Israel (ILSI). He enjoyed the Western Wall but found other attractions in Jerusalem had a greater impact on him.

“The Western Wall was an experience that was good for me but I wouldn’t say I had the same momentous experience as other teens,” says Nowak.

Rather, he found the Hezekiah water tunnel tour to be a great experience, in part because of the history.  “With the tunnels,  I had to crunch down to get through it. You know that [our ancestors] walked directly through this path at one point. This is the exact spot they stood,” Nowak says.

Jenni Greenwald, Cherry Creek graduate and now at Sarah Lawrence University, traveled to Israel as a participant on the Free Spirit Birthright trip with 40 people, mainly from the east coast. Among her favorite cities were Tiberias, Safed, and Jerusalem.

In contrast to Nowak, Greenwald found the Wall to be “inexplicable.”

“Jerusalem is just Jerusalem. It is such a spiritual city and it was breathtaking to be there. We got to go to the Western Wall on Friday night, which was probably the coolest experience in my life,” reveals Greenwald.

Away from the city, in the middle of the desert, is where Arin Simon, Smoky Hill senior and Israel Study Tour (IST) participant, felt like she was really in the Jewish homeland.

The rest of this article is available in the IJN's print edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or subscribe to our new online e-Edition.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 01 August 2013 09:20 )  

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Rivlin warns against wave of hatred, report says illegal outpost settlers suspected in arson attack

Ami Eden Israeli President Reuven Rivlin warned against a wave of hatred “spreading throughout the land.” ... [Link]

Get your kosher dogs at Dodger Stadium!

Lisa Keys The hot doggery, which opened Tuesday, was a welcome development for Dodgers fans and observant Jews alike. ... [Link]

White House briefing of AIPAC activists ends in communication breakdown

Ron Kampeas Did AIPAC cut off questions, or did Obama’s officials use up their time? ... [Link]

After years of trying, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are expecting first child

Gabe Friedman In a post on his personal account, the Facebook founder revealed that he and his wife had tragically tried to have a child for years without success. ... [Link]

Judge upholds sentence of mikvah-peeping rabbi

Julie Wiener The ruling Friday came in response to Rabbi Barry Freundel’s appeal of the sentence levied in May after he pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism. ... [Link]

Senate panel passes energy efficiency bill championed by Orthodox Union

Gabe Friedman The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources passed a bill developed in part by the Orthodox Union that will help synagogues and other nonprofit buildings lower their energy costs. ... [Link]

Gary Ackerman, former congressman from N.Y., comes out against Iran deal

Gabe Friedman Former Democratic Rep. Gary Ackerman joined the advisory board of a group backed by AIPAC, which opposes the deal. ... [Link]

West Bank settlements hit by fires in suspected Palestinian revenge attacks

Julie Wiener Dozens of residents of a West Bank settlement were evacuated from their homes after inhaling smoke from a brush fire suspected of being set by Palestinians. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com