Gabrielle P. – Cincinnati, Summer 2016
“This week we had the pleasure of spending time with over 500 Jews all from our hometown, Cincinnati, who are visiting Israel together for two weeks this summer. It is the first collective trip to Israel where humanist, reconstructionist, reform, conservative, and orthodox congregations are coming together to travel through this special place. I think that really says something about Cincinnati’s Jewish community. Four Onward Israel Cincinnati participants had parents on the trip and others had extended family and friends that we were all excited to reunite with in such a special place. Together with the trip, we journeyed to Netanya, our sister city, where each of us joined our own respective congregations for a host of different activities which showcased what life is like in this beautiful city. We learned about the twenty-year People to People Partnership between Netanya and Cincinnati. The partnership came to life when we saw many people happily reuniting with old host families from when they lived in their sister city. The night was spent at a beach party filled with wonderful food, delicious deserts, and great music. They invited many people who had visited Cincinnati in the past, which made it a really nice event between our two communities. The Assistant Vice Mayor even gave a presentation! I really enjoyed reconnecting in a place so far from home with many familiar faces like rabbis, old religious school teachers, and family friends at the event.
It is absolutely crazy to think that we leave three weeks from today. Tel Aviv definitely has started to feel like home. I look forward to our day trip this week and continuing work at my internship!”