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Friday Evening at the Western Wall and a Memorable First Shabbat In Israel

Rabbi Loren Sykes is the Principal of the NFTY-EIE High School in Israel. In these weekly postings, he gives a description and rundown of what the group is doing day to day, which he hopes sheds some light on what the EIE experience is like. Today, he shares about the first Shabbat in Israel for our Spring 2016 students. It was brisk on Friday afternoon. Exiting the bus in the parking lot at the Zion Gate, students saw their breath, a reminder that it is winter here on the cusp of the Judean Desert. We made our way from Zion Gate, […]

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63 Teens Arrive to Israel as the 2016 Spring Semester Begins!

Paul Reichenbach is the Director of Camping and Israel Programs for the Union for Reform Judaism. In spite of the incredible snowstorm that brought transportation to a standstill last weekend, I am thrilled to share that the Spring 2016 semester of the NFTY-EIE High School in Israel commenced this week. Although the storm delayed some of our students’ arrival to Israel, I am happy that all of them are now safely in Israel, tired, but incredibly excited for their journey to begin. They will meet their staff and teachers and begin to settle into Kibbutz Tzuba, their home for the next four months in […]

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Fall 2015 Photo Contest Winner: Havdalah, My Favorite Part of Shabbat on EIE

Celia Goldfarb, of Chevy Chase, MD, was the winner of the Fall 2015 Photo Contest. She is a member of Temple Sinai in Washington, DC and an active participant in NFTY-MAR. Here, she describes the inspiration for her winning photo. What is Havdalah? A time to welcome a new week and a time to say goodbye to the week that has now disappeared. Goodbyes are never easy; anyone who has left EIE can tell you that. So we take a time in the week, a ceremonial time, to formally recount the past week, and to formally reflect. Havdalah is a chance to […]

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Living, Learning, and Loving: Three Keys to an Amazing Israel Experience

As I sit down to write this blog post for the Spring 2016 EIE class, I can’t help but shudder at the fact that I am on this side of the correspondence. Today, almost a year after I embarked on my own EIE journey, I am able to look back and realize that I am a completely changed person. I spent my four months in Israel learning what it meant to become the best version of myself and now I hope to shed some light for our soon-to-be world travelers. So when you’re done deciding what to wear that first […]

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Reliving Memories of a Semester on EIE

Rabbi Rachel Kaplan Marks participated on EIE in the Spring of 2003. A longtime camper and counselor at OSRUI, she is currently the Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Shalom in Milwaukee. Earlier this Fall, she traveled to Israel  as a delegate to the World Zionist Congress with ARZA, and had the opportunity to visit EIE at Kibbutz Tzuba. As our bus pulled up to Kibbutz Tzuba, earlier this fall, my classmates Aaron, Shira, and I began singing the Hebrew song, “Atah Totach” the song that had been our morning bus song when the three of us were students on NFTY’s EIE High […]

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My Most Powerful High School Semester Happened in Israel

At Anshe Chesed Fairmont Temple in Beachwood, Ohio in October, Sydney Eisenberg, a Spring 2015 alum, spoke about her experiences on NFTY-EIE at Shabbat Atid (“The Future”). With both Sydney’s and Anshe Chesed’s permission, we reprint an excerpt of her remarks that her synagogue posted on their “If Not Now, When?” blog. Hi everyone, my name is Sydney Eisenberg and I’m a senior at Beachwood High School. As I’m sure most of you already know, I studied in Israel for my second semester of junior year on the reform movement’s program, NFTY-EIE High School in Israel. Yes, you heard that correctly, a semester abroad […]

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Beginning our Study of Modern Israel

Baruch Kraus is the Principal of the NFTY-EIE High School in Israel. We have had a very full two and a half weeks since I last wrote. After returning from Gadna, we went back to the academics at Tzuba to study Modern Israel, supplemented by one and a half days of tiyulim. The subject was Jewish resistance leading up to Independence. We learned of the Haganah, Palmach, Etzel, and Lehi, four underground groups that evolved into the defense against local Arab forces and later developed into rebellion against the Mandate British forces. Wednesday November 25, we visited the former Central […]

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Shabbat in Poland

Leah S. is a junior from South Africa. She is a member of Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation. Shabbat in Poland provided a much needed happy ending to an intensely emotional week. On Friday night, we had the privilege of joining the Beit Warszawa Synagogue community for Kabbalat Shabbat services. It was one of the most memorable services of this whole trip- people from different countries speaking different languages, unified by a common religion, practices, and language. The first thing which struck me was the prayer book, which was Polish-Hebrew. There was Hebrew on one side, and Polish transliteration and Polish […]

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