• Connecting with the Country - 08/06/2017

    This post first appeared on Israel Campus Roundtable.

    As I reflect upon all the adventures I’ve had, I also think about all I was able to learn in the process. At my internship, I had the opportunity to learn about my field, chemical engineering, and the world of petrochemicals. Just last week I had the opportunity to tour around the monomer plant which is responsible for converting oil into monomers, which are in turn further processed into polyethylene and polypropylene plastics. Touring around the massive complex of pipes, furnaces and reactors I had the opportunity to visualize the processes I learned about in class in a very real and tangible sense.

    Beyond my internship, I have learned more than I thought possible about Israeli culture and history. This past weekend I visited the Mizgaga Museum at the Tel Dor archaeological site. At the museum I was able to learn about and see artifacts from the different empires and dynasties that were in control of what is now Israel. Before this trip I was unaware of the part this land has played in many historical eras, ranging from Napoleon’s conquests to the great Roman Empire. Traveling to the city Akko, I was able to witness a parade through the old city following Islamic Friday noontime prayers. These experiences reminded me of the rich cultural heritage in Israel, both in the present and in the past. It has really been a summer of adventure, learning and (perhaps most importantly) connecting with my heritage.

    ​Josh Usiskin, Worcester Polytechnic University ’19, participated on Birthright and is interning this summer with Carmel Olefins as a Boston Onward Israel Haifa 2017 participant.