• Adventures and Love - 07/09/2017

    This post first appeared on Israel Campus Roundtable.

    After several more workdays, grocery runs in the shuk (market), and Shabbatot in Jerusalem, I finally made my way to the old city to see the light show. I pushed my way through mobs of people, took selfies in front of countless light exhibits and finally reached the Kotel. Exploring Jerusalem at night has been a highlight of my summer. On one nighttime adventure, my roommates and I ran into an eighty year-old religious man who shared with us his dislike for Trump, his love for Frank Sinatra and the story of his brother’s successful trip to Vegas. He insisted on buying us all the pastries we wanted and would not take no for an answer. This encounter inspired me to run a social media campaign at the Yerushalmit Movement, the organization with which I am interning, about senseless love. At work, we are busy planning a memorial event to take place on Tisha B’av to commemorate the murder of Shira Banki, a fifteen year-old girl stabbed by a haredi man at the Jerusalem Pride parade in 2015. We’ve been discussing senseless hatred and have been working to create an event that honors her memory.

    While interning has given me an opportunity to work on my professional skills, I always look forward to trips with the other Onward participants. On our trip North, we went on a water hike on the Majrase River and rafted down the Jordan River. After spending the night in a hostel overlooking the Kinneret, we learned about HaShomer HaChadash (New Guard) and the importance of protecting farmland. We spent a few hours working in the field and discussing personal connections to the land of Israel. We also traveled to Tel Aviv where we celebrated the Fourth of July, learned about the history of the LGBTQ+ community in Israel and went to a pool party with other Boston Onward participants at a Kibbutz in Beit Shemesh. To end the day, we watched the rehearsal of the opening ceremony for the Maccabi games at Teddy Stadium. It was a lot of fun to sing along with the performers, dance to the music and watch fireworks.
    Rebecca Hersch, Brandeis University ’19, is interning this summer with the Yerushalmit Movement building Jerusalem civil society as a Boston Onward Israel 2017 participant.