TEEN MISSION page 3
Q Op OOOO
the language. Even though she of Temple Kol Ami didn't have to
can't speak perfect Hebrew, she look hard to sense the buzz of
high energy that filled the other-
"Because I've always
wise empty international
stayed with relatives, I've
never really met other (Is-
"They (the teens) sense
Lefk owitz this is something different
raeli) teens. Now I can have
a chance to meet with peo- trave I s light. than just a group going off
ple my own age," she said.
on an Israel excursion,"
Airport drop-off for the 4 1/2- said Rabbi Roman, about to take
week Miracle Mission for Teens his 24th trip to Israel. 'They have
began at 8 a.m. Sunday. Anxious an appreciation and know there
participants lugged duffel bags is a different purpose and expe-
and backpacks out of their par- rience involved in this mission."
ents' cars and into the airport.
Patiently waiting for their de-
Most stopped only briefly to hug parture were Jared Safran, a stu-
family members, who were not dent at Roeper, and Reid
allowed inside the terminal. As Wainess, who goes to Country
the teens checked in, parents Day. While Jared said he is real-
pressed their faces against the ly looking forward to reuniting
airport glass, watching until their with his heritage and rafting
kids could no longer be seen.
down the Jordan River, Reid said
Inside, Rabbi Norman Roman he couldn't wait for the whole ex-
Diamonds by the yard!
One of a kind,
one at a time.
Teen Mission arrives
with a full schedule
from the time the plane
JULIE EDGAR STAFF WRITER
CUSTOM DESIGNS IN PLATINUM • GOLD • SILVER
MAJOR DIAMONDS • PRECIOUS GEMS
REPAIRS AND RESTORATIONS ON JEWELRY • WATCHES
OLD ORCHARD MALL
S.E. CORNER OF ORCHARD LAKE ROAD & MAPLE ROAD
el Aviv — They flew 11
hours and then poured
out of Ben-Gurion Airport
into the hot Israeli sun.
Six huge buses waited for the
238 teens and 54 Israeli and
American staffers. Spirits were
high, although few slept on the
Some had already slipped into
their trip T-shirts, which read:
"3,000 years that rocked the
world ... one summer that will
rock your life."
"I'm just awestruck," said
Daniel Krochmal, 15, of Farm-
ington Hills. "I can't believe I'm
finally here. I hope to get a bet-
ter understanding of the coun-
try — my heritage, my religion,
David Geiringer, 15, of South-
field, said he felt "a joy in being
in the native land."
And Alyssa Hillman, 16, of
Farmington Hills, remarked,
"It's hot, and I'm excited."
Matthew Cohn, 17, of Hunt-
ington Woods, was among the
teens who have previously been
in Israel. He and his parents,
Deborah and Robert, traveled
with last year's Miracle Mission.
But that didn't temper his en-
"This time, we get to see the
country more and relax a little.
I'm hoping to get to know the
country better," he said.
Once the teens boarded their
buses, designated by the syna-
gogue to which they belong —
Temple Israel, Shaarey Zedek
and Adat Shalom — plus three
mixed groups from other shuls,
B'nai B'rith Youth Organization
and other organizations, they got
a few pointers.
"Morgie" (Sharon Morgen-
stern), a transplanted New
Yorker who leads tours of Israel,
told the Temple Israel group to
drink as much water as possible
perience. Both wanted to learn
more about their Jewish identi-
ty and return with an expanded
Fifteen-year-old Leslie Lofman
also wants to learn about the his-
tory of the Jewish people. But rid-
ing a camel, shopping in Tel Aviv
and meeting Israeli teens are also
high on her priority list.
She expects to return from her
first trip to Israel with a new out-
"I'd like to come back and con-
vince more people to go there,"
Every member of Stephe
Goutman's family who has gone
to Israel has taken the same pic-
ture. And now it's his turn.
Just outside Jerusalem,
Stephen's grandparents have a
Jewish National Fund forest —
the Leib Family Forest — and
everyone who has been there pos-
es for a picture pointing at th
Waiting for the teens in Israel
were six air-conditioned buses.
Traveling with them are their
rabbis, youth-group directors and
post-college-age staff. All are re-
sponsible for ensuring the safety
of the teens and seeing that their
Israel experience makes a posi-
"I hope I can pass on my love
and passion for Israel," said
Stacey Hoffer, a Teen Mission
staff member who spent a year
living in the Jewish state. "We
will be successful if we can help
these teens connect to Israel and
its people, ultimately strength
and to wear a hat as long as the
sun is shining.
At Latrun, the first stop on
the way to Jerusalem, the teens
got a tour of what is now a
memorial site for the Israeli
Tank Corps. Latrun, at the
foothills leading up to the great -
city, was captured by the Israelis
in the Six-Day War of 1967, but
only after they had suffered
great casualties in four previous
attempts to take the strategic
On a hill, Morgie grabbed two
volunteers, including Aaron
Gotlib, 16, of West Bloomfield.
She placed them in a configura-
tion to demonstrate how impor-
tant Latrun is in both the
geographic and military scheme
of Israeli history.
Following the demonstration,
the teens made their way down
to the rows of tanks, a few of
which were no more than retro-
fitted cars. Of course, they
climbed up and posed for pho-
tographs. One group grabbed an
Israeli soldier, who obliged them
by posing for a group portrait.
The next stop at the beginning
of their Israeli adventure was
lunch and swimming at Kibbutz