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September 08, 2011 - Image 45

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-09-08

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for college students by college students

Isreal For All from 35

I got while in Israel — that I was wel-
come and I was home. Not only did I feel
a connection with the land, the Israeli
people and the history, but I also felt
a connection with my fellow travelers.
Although we came from different walks
of life, many of us were experiencing
Israel for the first time.
While there, I didn't feel pressure to
adopt any particular political view —
something I had worried about before
my trip. I did come to realize how compli-
Miriam Shabazz in Israel on Taglit
cated the situation over there is, not only
Birthright
politically and historically, but also in the
hearts and minds of the Israeli people.
I brought home amazing memories of my time in Israel. But the most incredible experience I
had was going to the Wall. I can remember seeing all the different types of Jews from all over the
world experiencing the unexplainable together. All of that history, faith, energy and emotion swirled
together in the crowd, and I was profoundly moved.
I called my mother from my rental phone to tell her where I was. Of course, because of the time
difference, she woke up in a panic, "ARE YOU ALRIGHT?!" she said before I could even get a word
out. Then I told her where I was, and immediately she began to cry. I told her that I was at the
Western Wall, and that I felt something I couldn't describe. I said a prayer for my father, my family
and myself. I told her I loved her and I wished she was there with me. She responded that a part of
her was there at the Wall, because I was there. Then it was me who began crying.
Looking back at a moment like that, I am struck by the emotion and meaning. I don't experience
moments like that daily, but while I was in Israel, I was blessed with many. I had the experience of a
lifetime, and now have meaningful memories that I will hold with me for the rest of my life. I also have
immense gratitude for the incredible gift that is Taglit Birthright. I am so glad I did not let my fears and
my inhibitions stand in the way of experiencing 10 of the most incredible days of my life. @

CMU Hillel Wecomes Students

Hillary Hacker, a junior from Clarkston; Alyssa
Ozrovitz, a senior from Oak Park; Jacquelyn Keenan,
a senior from Rochester; and Sammy Dubin, a sopho-
more from West Bloomfield, work at the "MainStage"
of a student organization fair recently to welcome
students back to campus.

Miriam Shabazz of Ann Arbor is a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University.

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