for college students by college students
Proud To Be Jewish
Detroit Community Taglit-Birthright Israel trip
makes the connection real.
SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS
eceiving an email stating you have
a free flight booked from JFK to
Israel in three weeks stirred many
feelings. On one hand, I was excited to travel
to the home of the Jewish people; on the
other, I had to daily withstand my mother's
worries of her son not returning home from
a war-ridden area.
I decided to let my parents worry of the
dangers of war, as I worried about the dan-
gers of not finding friends on the trip. As I
began this journey, all of my apprehension
In New York, the group I would travel
with for the next 10 days greeted me.
Because this trip was through the Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, NEXTGen
Detroit and Hillel of Metro Detroit, I saw
of American Jews is very prevalent in Israeli
We ended our trip on the gorgeous beach-
es of Tel Aviv, where we relaxed and enjoyed
the culture. Israel's culture is what impacted
me most. Trekking with these young Israelis
truly gave me a sense of how fast they had
matured because of their time in the army,
for their eyes have seen much worse than I
hope mine ever will.
As a whole, you feel Israelis have such a
strong connection to their country. That it
is not merely land they inhabit, but more a
source of identity that keeps them all con-
Forman, Bryan Fenster and Ayelet Kon also
were there to help guide the trip.
making this journey available to our young
Jewish community. Not once did I feel unsafe
When we landed in Israel, we met the
smiling Israelis assigned to travel with us. I
on this trip; the staff made our safety the
based on being from Federation's Partnership
region, their resumes, leadership skills and
ability to speak English.
The Ise aelis on our trip were around age
23 and had finished their mandatory military
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in the United States, and it makes me proud
to be a Jew.
many familiar faces. Federation staffers Tara
be part of this Community Birthright experi-
ence because only select Israelis are chosen,
A Bar Mitzvah is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Make it one to remember at MotorCity Casino
nected as one. It is something you rarely find
Reflecting on this trip, I am truly thankful
to Taglit-Birthright Israel and Federation for
would learn they were particularly happy to
Have your Bar Mitzvah in a space
that lives up to the day.
I, among others, extended my stay in
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Israel for several days; I just did not want
to separate myself from a country I now
correlate with very fond memories with
friends. Needless to say, I plan on visiting
many times again in the future, and I highly
recommend the youth in our community take
advantage of this opportunity.
I never expected to gain the knowledge
We stopped at many beautiful locations:
a rustic Bedouin village in southern Israel
and perspective this trip bestowed upon
where we rode camels and slept outdoors,
Masada at sunrise, a c ip in the Dead Sea.
Throughout the t.t..‘,' wore able to see
has to reveal, for you may find things about
yourself that you never could imagine. @
glimpses of the Detroit's Jewish commu-
Adam Fynke, 20, of Troy attends Michigan
nity's impact on Israel. Touring the Davidson
Center outside of the Western Wall in
State University. For more information and
Jerusalem made me feel that the influence
Ayelet Kon at kon®jfmd.org.
me, so take the leap and seek all that Israel
to register for the December trip, email
Birthright group listening to guideYirton ICahalani on top of
July 26 2012