By Evan Richter and Dylan Singer
This Sunday, a group of OSRUI summer staff members, including Evan and Dylan, will be traveling together on a Birthright trip to Israel, led by OSRUI alum Daniel Shore.
In just a few short days we’ll be getting on plane and traveling halfway across the world with our best friends (including each other) and friends we have not
even met yet. We couldn’t be more excited!!
When Birthright expanded its participation criteria to include some of us who had previously been to Israel on other trips, we immediately realized we were going to have the chance to make our return to Israel and experience our homeland with greater perspective and understanding. Having been to Israel through NFTY, we both knew the power of seeing where it all began, but having the opportunity to see it with a different group of Jewish young adults instantly makes it a new experience.
This will be our first trip since starting college, and we are incredibly excited to keep learning about Israel and its culture. We chose to do a URJ Kesher trip for a couple of reasons. First, we felt that going with other people who have had similar Jewish experiences, such as NFTY or summers at a URJ Camp, will give us a foundation that allows us to make deeper connections with the people on our trip. Second, the itinerary we will follow is more than just a tour of Israel—its an identity-building curriculum that will provide context to each experience and the trip as a whole.
Even with having made the voyage before, there is an excitement leading up to this trip that is incomparable to any other. Getting to re-visit our favorite foods and places while finding new ways, with new people, to develop our appreciation for Israel, is exactly what we signed up for. And we know it’s what we’ll get. Most importantly, we know that this will be an incredible opportunity to both form new friendships and strengthen old ones while traveling through one of the most unique places in the world.