Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Monday,
Dec 22nd

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

Coke to open Gaza factory

Julie Wiener Gaza’s first-ever Coca-Cola plant plans to employ 360 Palestinians by 2016. ... [Link]

WikiLeaks document: CIA prepares agents to handle screenings at Ben Gurion Airport

Gabe Friedman The agency offers guidelines for operatives using false identities to maintain their aliases during a stringent process. ... [Link]

Theater J director’s firing denounced in open letter

Julie Wiener Sixty-one artistic directors of U.S. theater companies signed on deploring the action by the DC Jewish Community Center in dismissing Ari Roth, who had put on plays criticized for being anti-Israel. ... [Link]

Sister of killed lone soldier Max Steinberg living in Israel

Marcy Oster Paige Steinberg moved to Israel to feel closer to her brother, Max, who was killed during Israel’s operation in Gaza last summer. ... [Link]

Will Russia’s economic woes burst bubble for Jews?

Cnaan Liphshiz A community rich in cultural offerings is showing signs of disquiet over Kremlin policy and a budding financial crisis. ... [Link]

Seeing need, Yechiel Eckstein’s Jewish-Christian fellowship gets into aliyah game

Cnaan Liphshiz Accusing the Jewish Agency of failing to move quickly enough to move Jews out of embattled Ukraine, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews this week brought its first flight of immigrants... [Link]

Libeskind-designed Holocaust monument ‘collecting dust’ in Toronto warehouse

Gabrielle Birkner The Jewish community is divided over whether the Wheel of Conscience — Canada’s first and only Holocaust monument outside of a Jewish community institution — should return to its home in Halifa... [Link]

Jewish settlers sentenced to 30 months in jail for ‘price tag’ attack

Marcy Oster The sentence reportedly was the longest meted out to individuals convicted of carrying out a “price tag” attack against 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