Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Thursday,
Mar 05th

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!

Cast Your Vote

What prevents you from being more involved in Jewish institutions?
 

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Bibi’s speech, the remix

Gabe Friedman Of all the humorous takes on Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on Tuesday, this one may be the best. ... [Link]

Ruderman Family Foundation launches fourth annual Jewish inclusion competition

Gabe Friedman As in previous years, the foundation will award five different organizations $50,000 each for innovative methods of integrating people with disabilities into the Jewish community. ... [Link]

Op-Ed: For Ukraine Jews, Purim holiday merely a respite

Ben Harris Millions of dollars in aid will be needed in the next six months to provide relief to Jews in Ukraine, the head of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee writes. ... [Link]

Iran FM: Iran “has saved Jews three times in its history”

Ben Sales Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of having “butchered innocent chidren in Gaza” and called Israel “a threat to regional peace.” ... [Link]

Yaniv Sadka gets teens involved in the fight against cancer

Gabe Friedman As a Los Angeles high school student, Yaniv Sadka started Teens Curing Cancer, a club that has raised $12,000 so far. ... [Link]

New Budapest Holocaust museum omits culpability of Hungarians

Uriel Heilman The museum dedicated to the memory of the 150,000 Hungarian Jewish children who died during the Holocaust leaves out the history of Hungarian government involvement in the persecution and murder of th... [Link]

Kirchner: AMIA and embassy bombings were ‘collateral damage’

Uriel Heilman The comments by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner were a response to the citing of the attacks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his speech Tuesday to the U.S. Congress. ... [Link]

Is a new Jewish Portland rising in the east?

Anthony Weiss Four years after a population study showed that Portland, Ore.’s Jewish community is twice as large as previously thought, a bevy of grassroots initiatives — from Havadallah Yoga to a communi... [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