Going on my Birthright adventure with Israel Outdoors is something I’ve been looking forward to since the moment I found out about the offer. Today is day 5 and I have not regretted my decision at all.
The group that I am with, through Jewish Nevada is so much fun. We all get along really well, including our staff, Hillel, Yahav, Courtney, and Morgan. One of my favorite things about the group is the fact that we have 2 people, Yahav and Marcus, who can play guitar. Because of this we are always singing along to whatever song they decide to play, or just listen to Yahav play and sing in Hebrew. Being in a group that everyone gets along is such an important part of the Birthright experience because you are literally with the same 40 people for 10 days.
Up until this point on our trip, we have been to Netanya, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The experiences at all of them have been very different, but all as exciting as the next. We started our journey in Netanya, a city situated on the coast of the Mediterranean, just north of Tel Aviv about 20 miles. Our first Shabbat was spent here, relaxing on the Mediterranean beach and soaking in the environment of Israel. We haven't spent the night in Tel Aviv, instead taking day trips into the city. The first thing we did was visit Independence Hall and listen to the story of Israel’s journey to independence, a very powering and moving story. The same day as this we stopped by the Birthright Innovation Center, where we learned about all of the different inventions that have come out of Israel. We also had a night out in Tel Aviv. Our last two days have spent in Jerusalem where the experience has been much different as that in Netanya and Tel Aviv. Jerusalem, as most people know is considered the Holy City. The first day spent in Jerusalem was spent in the old city. Visiting the Western Wall was such a moving experience. The next day in Jerusalem was spent at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum, and Mount Herzl, the cemetery for important people to the state of Israel and fallen soldiers. Every part of visiting these two places was so moving. The stories told of the people who were affected in both cases is just so powerful.
When you decide to go on a Birthright trip, my biggest piece of advice is to take it all in, take every “wrong look” from anyone in your group as a grain of salt, and just all together enjoy every moment of the trip. After all, it is a free trip to Israel and when will you get that again. I know that I cannot wait for the rest of my time in this beautiful country. To sign off I'll leave you with a quote that will make more sense when you get here, “If you will it, it is no dream.” - Theodor Herzl
Taglit Bus 37