Rebekah H. – Boston Jerusalem, Summer 2018
“This weekend I had the most amazing experience at my breakout seminar. A breakout seminar is a weekend-long event that gives kids from different Onward programs a chance to interact through unique themed activities. My session was titled Community Activism and Diversity in the Galilee, and focused on different types of communities and how they interact in Israel. Our weekend started with the most intensive intercultural experience I have ever had: staying with a Druze host family for a night. Never have I met such a hospitable and kind group of people, and this was honestly a once in a lifetime opportunity. My host family provided my other roommates and me with unlimited food and kindness and welcomed me with unbelievable respect and acceptance. They were so passionate about their culture, and could not wait to share more about themselves. I am so grateful to be able to learn so much about this different and interesting culture.
The following day, we got to a completely pluralistic, community-based kibbutz. Staying there for Shabbat was not only relaxing and fun but an amazing look into a real community. Learning about community from people of all different sects of Judaism showed me how connected we all are as Jews. I quickly befriended the kids from other programs and strengthened my bond with the kids from my Onward program. This weekend was overall a completely different and awesome experience that I definitely did not get to have on Birthright or any other program I have done in this country. What an awesome way to see Israel in a new light!”