Why Do I Believe in Muss - A Student Spotlight

Blog image - Why Do I Believe in Muss - A Student Spotlight

Why Do I Believe in Muss?

I have been thinking about this question every day for a month and twelve days and each day I get another answer. Muss truly has the power to change lives and, although I am only a quarter of the way into the semester, it has changed mine. The people, the place, the tiyulim (trips), the overall Muss experience, is truly what you would call “Muss Magic.”  

Starting off with the people, amongst whom I have found my best friends and my newfound family. Here at Muss, we have all become one Spring Semester family and are bonded by the most special love for this program and this place. When I first decided to come on the program, I had no idea what to expect but I can truly say I am making friendships that are family and will last a lifetime. People say that there are friends and family, and then there are friends that feel like family, and that is what Muss is.  

“Hod is Home”

The place which I call home is our beautiful campus and our little town of Hod HaSharon. We use the phrase “Hod is Home” and it could not be more accurate. Being able to live in Hod HaSharon has allowed us to immerse ourselves in Israeli culture and get to know the locals on a more personal level. Whether it is saying shalom to the locals at the shwarma restaurant down the street or saying good morning to Eran, the campus kiosk worker, living here has allowed me to experience a whole new way of life. I feel a strong sense of connection to this place, and Hod really does feel like Home.  

An Opportunity to Explore My Identity, as Well as My Homeland

In addition, living in Israel has allowed me to feel a strong connection to my Judaism and Jewish identity. Living in a place where it is majority Jewish has made me feel like I belong here. Here in Israel, especially in a post-October 7th world, I have found so many people who are so connected to their country and those in it. This has had such a profound impact on me and has inspired me to find my own connection to my Judaism. 

Trip after trip after trip, I have found myself falling more in love with this place. Here at Muss, we get the unique opportunity to not only explore new places but also go back in time and learn the history and significance of each place we visit. Not only has this allowed me to be better connected to the land of Israel, but it has also allowed me to learn my own history as a Jewish person and get to know my own origins. In addition, each trip is designed with the idea that hands-on learning, outside the classroom, allows you to connect what we are learning to our own lives, instead of just reading about it in a book or watching it online.  

All in all, Muss has changed my life for the better and has shaped me as a person. The last month has been nothing short of incredible and I cannot wait for three more amazing months here in Hod. If you would have told me on January 23rd that I would be a different, better version of myself, I wouldn't have believed you, but I now know Muss has the incredible magic to change people's lives. 



Lily Weinstein is from Highland Park, IL. She came to Alexander Muss High School in Israel to deepen her Jewish identity and experience living in the land of Israel. 

This March, we are proud to say that Muss is the Answer as we raise money to help the Muss Magic make an impact for the future. If you are interested in supporting the next generation of Jewish leadership, you can donate to Lily's peer to peer fundraiser at https://my.jnf.org/muss/lilyweinstein