In a Flash

By Sammy This past week, Israel had two of its most important holidays: Yom HaZikaron and Yom Haatzmaaut. Yom Hazikaron, the Day of Remembrance, is a day full of sadness, stories, and broken hearts, as the entire country remembers its fallen soldiers who died to protect the country. Then, right when the sun sets on […]

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Coping with COVID

By Sammy COVID has been crashing world economies, demolishing daily routines, and most of all, causing deaths throughout the world. Israel has not been spared, with the country initiating multiple country-wide lockdowns to fight off the spread of the disease. However, Israel has also been leading the world in vaccinations per capita. After high cases […]

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Shifting to the City

By Sammy Four months flew by in a flash. Four months in the holy city of Jerusalem. Though I’ve known we’d be moving to Tel Aviv the whole time, I didn’t acknowledge how immense a transition it would be. Two diverse cities, both melting pots of cultures and religions, yet at the same time, completely […]

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Sincere Happiness

By Sammy Self-confidence. Gratitude. Think beyond yourself. Don’t worry. Don’t be a victim. Master your mind. Over the last 5 weeks, Rabbi Dov Ber taught us these integral steps to happiness as part of his seminars. Through Seidel’s Jewish Information Center in Jerusalem, our program has had the opportunity to listen to the venerated Rabbi […]

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Heading to Hebron

By Sammy Hebron—a city split between the Palestinians and Israelis, where the air is thick with animosity. While the Hebron Massacre fractured the city more than ninety years ago, the cracks still remain. The 1929 massacre occurred when Palestinian neighbors, infuriated by Israel seizing some of Jerusalem, invaded Israeli homes in Hebron and murdered Jews. […]

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A New Independence

By Sammy An integral part of life is conversing with new people, making first impressions, and forming relationships. While meeting people is always exciting, after bursting out of a two-week strict quarantine into a crowd of 300 Americans, Latin Americans, and Israelis, we were all a bit overwhelmed. Conversations were a bit slow to start. […]

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Gratitude in the Q

By Sammy Two weeks in a tiny room, shared with three other people. Feel free to leave the room, as long as you are okay with losing $30,000 and being kicked off the program, deported, and banned from coming back to Israel for the next ten years. Someone from another program left the room to […]

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The Transition

By Sammy Our lives move so fast, we don’t even get to enjoy a transition. Without this pandemic, I would have gone straight from graduating to being an 8-week camp counselor to possible going straight to Duke. I would be jumping from one experience to another, without even realizing that I’m heading into the biggest […]

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