Kesher Taglit-Birthright Israel alum, Ben Zemmel, shares words of gratitude for the experience he had in Israel:
I wanted to take just a moment to extend my gratitude and thanks to all those that made possible a free ten day trip to Israel. I use the word “trip” loosely as it was so much more than just a vacation with a tour.
It was perspective.
Perspective into a society and culture that, on the surface, differs so much from our own due to the geopolitical climate. I was happy to find, however that digging a little deeper revealed no loss of passion or zest for life that can be overshadowed by the daily rigors of protecting one’s livelihood and country.
To not only see but experience that passion and zest in the diverse food culture, the beauty of the landscape, and the cultural identity of each Israeli is something to truly treasure.
Kesher makes sure that one doesn’t just see the country and the people but truly interacts with them. One can go through those ten days touching, tasting, smelling, and listening to the daily hustle and bustle of Israeli life. But the feelings generated by doing that with thirty nine strangers and eight Israeli soldiers are things I cannot vocalize. They are treasured memories and lifelong acquaintances that create a global connection beyond anything one could learn in school or from the news.
Thank you to Kesher for keeping us on track and to the eight soldiers who took time off from defending their country so they could show us its better half.