This goal is connecting to my Jewish Identity.
After being in Israel for two weeks I wish I could say that I have been able to travel across the country and that I have met so many new friends. However, this year that is not the case. I got put in a capsule with three people I already knew and one person I had never met before and because of coronavirus we haven’t been able to travel the land of Israel and meet people outside of my capsule. Although I wish I wasn’t confined in my dorm, I am glad that I have had this time to think about what I want to achieve during my time here.
I have many things I want to accomplish and they all lead to one main goal I want to take away from the semester. This goal is connecting to my Jewish Identity.
I know that the Israel studies curriculum will teach me about the history of Israel and stories from the Torah, but I hope to be able to take these teachings and connect to them in my own way. I get emotional thinking about my connection to the land of Israel and to Judaism and the community I belong to. I'm not really sure what the emotion is, it's not happy or sad it's just a feeling that I am connected to something bigger than myself. I hope I can dive deeper into this emotion and understand why I feel it. There is such a rich history of the Jewish people that I have barely scratched the surface with the knowledge I have surrounding the topic.
I hope that during my time here I will also learn more Hebrew. Hebrew is such an old language that connects to Judaism and the land of Israel. It connects Jews from around the world and in that way it is so beautiful. Being in quarantine with an Israeli madrichah has made me realize just how much I want to learn Hebrew.
Along with learning Hebrew and learning the history of Israel and the stories of the Torah, I hope I gain leadership skills and how to lead meaningful conversations. After my brother came back from Alexander Muss last year he was able to have meaningful conversations about specific historical events that took place in the Torah, but also about current affairs in Israel. I think that the knowledge my brother gained surrounding the history of Israel and the Jewish people has made it easier for him to connect with other Jews and his Jewish Identity. I hope that after Alexander Muss I will be able to join and lead the conversations.