• Exploring the Cultures - 07/07/2017

    This post first appeared on Israel Campus Roundtable.

    What an eventful two weeks! Coming into this program, I knew that I would learn a lot from my internship. However, I did not expect to learn so much from the program as well! Last week, we went on a trip to the south. We started at an Ethiopian community in Kiriat Gat, and learned about the Ethiopian culture and language, as well as the struggles that the elders of the community went through when they moved to Israel. From there, we continued south to a Bedouin city called Tel Sheva to hear from an inspiring woman named Mariam about how she rebelled from Bedouin tradition, as she started her own business in cosmetics, and how she persevered through all of the struggles that she faced. After the inspiring conversation, and after learning to make some pita, we parted from the Bedouin community, and continued on to our final stop for the day – a kibbutz called Mashabei Sade. There, we enjoyed our evening with activities about stereotypes in the world, trivia about Israel, and a special bonding activity where we wrote nice anonymous notes on each other’s backs. The next day, we started the day off with a nice desert hike through Nahal Havarim. We then visited the Ben Gurion memorial and gravesite. Finally, we finished our trip to the south with a hilarious theater workshop in Be’er Sheva. I did not think that I could have so much fun with the group in only two days!

    The following week, we also had the chance to appreciate and celebrate both Israel and America by spending the 4th of July in Jerusalem. We started off the day in the City of David, where we were able to learn about some history of the Jewish people in the place that the events actually took place. We then went to the Western Wall in order to connect to the most sacred place that our people can reach today. It was extremely moving to have the privilege of being in the most important city to the Jewish people, and to celebrate 50 years since the reappropriation of the Old City, on the same day that we celebrated our privilege to live in America, a free country that has been independent for well over 200 years. After leaving Jerusalem, we all took some time to relax and spend time together at a pool party with the other two Boston Onward groups from Haifa and Jerusalem! 

    Edden Nativ, UMass-Amherst ’20, traveled to Israel with her school’s Birthright Israel trip, and is interning this summer with Targo Consulting as a Boston Onward Israel Tel Aviv 2017 participant.