Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Wednesday,
Apr 23rd

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

Should recognition of Israel as a Jewish state be a deal breaker?
 

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Britain’s Football Association fines soccer player for quenelle support

Marcy Oster A soccer player from the Ivory Coast for Britain’s Hull City team has been fined for posting a message of support for Nicolas Anelka’s quenelle gesture on social media. ... [Link]

Ukraine separatists said holding American Israeli journalist

Cnaan Liphshiz Separatists in Ukraine said they are holding an American-Israeli journalist. ... [Link]

Amb. Shapiro: Israelis welcome in the United States

Marcy Oster The U.S. State Department is working to make tourist visas available for as many Israelis as possible, especially young people, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said. ... [Link]

Abbas: Settlement freeze, agreement on borders to extend peace talks

Marcy Oster The Palestinians would extend the current peace negotiations if Israel agrees to a three-month settlement construction freeze during which the sides would agree on the borders of a future Palestinian ... [Link]

More Jewish sites vandalized in Ukraine

Marcy Oster A Holocaust memorial and the grave of the brother of the late Lubavitcher rebbe were vandalized in Ukraine, amid a string of anti-Semitic attacks in the country. ... [Link]

Jewish lawyer asks to join Morocco’s ruling Islamist party

Marcy Oster A Moroccan Jewish lawyer has asked to join ruling Islamist party. ... [Link]

Jordan summons Israeli ambassador over Temple Mount violence

Marcy Oster Jordan’s foreign minister summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest what it called Israel’s “violations” on the Temple Mount. ... [Link]

Israel attacks Gaza sites in response to rocket, bomb attacks

Marcy Oster Israel’s Air Force bombed three sites in Gaza in response to attacks from Palestinians in the coastal strip. ... [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