Learning About Israel, and Independence- Sara Ellis
As we are nearing the end of the semester, I realize that there is so much I have gotten out of this experience. From hiking across Israel to crawling through caves or helping the community, I have seen places I never thought existed, or even thought I would get the opportunity to visit. The most special part about this trip is using the land, Eretz Israel, as our classroom! All while we are learning about our Jewish roots, we get to visit the specific places in which crucial historical events happened. Getting to immerse myself in Jewish culture on a day-to-day basis, has brought me to appreciate my Jewish identity. Not only do I appreciate my Jewish identity more, but it has strengthened noticeably from my time at AMHSI. My understanding of Judaism has expanded so much because I have learned a lot more than I did in Hebrew school when I was younger. I especially like the fact that there are so many ways to learn and interpret different Jewish concepts, as well as the different perspectives you learn them from.
Not only have I connected to the land, and appreciate learning about Jewish history, but I have gained life skills. Being surrounded by my peers every day, I have learned how to compromise when faced with conflict. I have adapted to living with 5 other roommates and sharing common spaces within the dorm building. One of the biggest things I’ve learned on this program is independence. I have to rely on myself to make decisions, navigate myself in the world, and do a lot of tasks without help from my parents. I will forever cherish everything I’ve learned, the memories, and the friendships I have made. These past few months have gone by so fast, and I’m not ready to leave. Overall, I have really enjoyed my time at AMHSI, and I can’t wait to visit Israel again many more times in the future!