Finding Time to Sing
I attended AMHSI during the spring semester of my junior year of high school. I heard about the program through a friend of mine who had gone the year prior and when she came back and told me about all of her incredible experiences, I knew I had to go too. I had never been to Israel before but both my parents studied at Hebrew University during their junior year of college and fell in love with the country. I also have family in Jerusalem that I had not met prior to my time in Israel. I wanted to experience the country for myself and desperately wanted to meet my family. I felt distant from my Judaism and wanted to discover more of it.
The four months I spent traveling and learning about the country were without a doubt the best in my life. I met so many incredible people, traveled all around the country, and learned so much about the rich and complicated history. The program pushed me out of my comfort zone in every way but ultimately made me so much stronger and braver. I don’t regret an instant of it.
Music has always been my way of expressing my innermost emotions and so while in Israel I spent a lot of time in the music room on campus. During the first month of the program I often felt homesick but singing and playing music helped me feel calm and grounded. It was also during that first month that I wrote the original song that I will be performing in Denver with the Special in Uniform Band. The song is about my journey in Israel - the ups and downs and all the in-betweens. It was the happiest time in my life and thus I entitled the song “Best Life.”
While Israel is now in a full fledged war, singing the song gives me hope as it reminds me of the beauty and strength of the country. I miss Israel every day but I feel that by sharing this song I am closer to it. That is the feeling the band and I are aiming to instill by performing this song next month at the JNF-USA conference. I am so honored to be performing with this incredible group of musicians, especially during this time. Am Yisrael Chai!