Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Tuesday,
Jul 07th

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

Animal rights group sues NYC over Yom Kippur ritual

Marcy Oster The lawsuit accuses police and health departments of assisting the ritual by blocking off streets and sidewalks, and not enforcing laws that regulate health and animal cruelty issues. ... [Link]

Fragments of Jewish tombstones removed from Polish river

Marcy Oster The fragments of about 100 tombstones came from a Jewish cemetery destroyed by the Nazis in Silesia. ... [Link]

3 more women file sexual assault complaints against Safed rabbi

Marcy Oster The new complaints bring to eight the number of complaints of sexual assault against a rabbi who has been identified as a yeshiva head. ... [Link]

Iran nuclear talks extended again

Marcy Oster The deadline on a deal that would exchange sanctions relief for guarantees that Iran is not advancing toward a nuclear weapon was set for Friday. ... [Link]

Temple Mount closed to Jews through end of Ramadan

Marcy Oster Palestinians had been granted more access to the Temple Mount for the Muslim holy month, but many of the visits were canceled following rocket attacks from Gaza on southern Israel. ... [Link]

Israel’s religious services minister: ‘Reform Jews cannot be considered Jews’

Marcy Oster David Azoulay, of the Sephardic Orthodox Shas party, last month called Reform Jews “a disaster for the people of Israel.” ... [Link]

‘Schindler’s List’ producer donating Oscar to Yad Vashem

Marcy Oster Branko Lustig, a survivor of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, said the Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem “is the place where the award should be kept after my death.” ... [Link]

9 more Druze-Israelis arrested in ambulance attacks

Marcy Oster The total number of arrests in the attacks on two ambulances carrying wounded Syrians to Israeli hospitals rose to 21. ... [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