Dear Jewish Federation,
Thank you so much for the financial aid that allowed me to go to Chetz V’Keshet! It was such an incredible experience. Everyday was such an adventure, packed with new places and activities. My connection to Israel and to Judaism has immensely increased after this trip. I learned so much, created great new friendships, improved my Hebrew, and have a larger appreciation of the IDF.
The staff was so great with us and really got me to look at things from a different point of view. They also were amazing because of their extensive amounts of knowledge and experience. I learned about people who had enormous impacts on Israel who were once just names to me, for example David Ben Gurion, Theodor Hertzel, and Eli Cohen. Knowing about each place that we visited and its history made it so much more meaningful and allowed me to form a connection with places beyond just appreciating its beauty.
I had never been to most of the places that we went to, but even when I went somewhere that I had been to before, it was a completely different experience because of all the wonderful people I was with. I was worried at first that I wouldn’t have much in common with a lot of the kids on this trip, but our common love of Israel brought us all together. I have made some very close friends on this trip whom I can’t wait to see again and that I am determined to stay in contact with. Having Israeli teenagers on Chetz V’Keshet was not only enjoyable, but very beneficial as well. They exposed me to more Hebrew, gave me an insight to Israeli life, and even shared their knowledge about the people we discussed and the places we visited.
Chetz V’keshet allowed me to do things that I have always wanted to do and things I didn’t even know I wanted to do until I did them! Everyday was action packed; from rolling down sand dunes to banana boating to our midnight mission in Joara, I was never bored! Everything I did on this trip was very hands-on which made everything I learned leave a big impression on me and I wish to share this knowledge with people in America. I am already looking forward to the next time I get to go to Israel.