Jonah Geffen, Rabbinical Student
Kelly Cohen, Jewish Educator
For so many of us who choose to come to Israel, or are sent to Israel to learn for the year, we are confronted with a reality very different from the one about which we have been taught, shown on our teen tour, or even shown to others as leaders of those tours. The authentic American Jewish life in all its manifestations all too often runs contrary to the reality experienced when spending time in Israel. We are often forced to confront the exclusion of our own Judaism. We were taught and feel that Israel is a homeland for all Jews, we experience the profound power of walking the land of our ancestors, marvel as the changes in season meld so seamlessly with the Jewish calendar, and smile proudly as we hear the language of our people used to express our greatest hopes and ideas.