I am excited to be participating in Plant Your Way to Israel, raising funds to support Jewish National Fund’s critical forestry efforts while at the same time raising funds for my own visit to Israel! I have always wanted to have the chance to go on a gap year program to Israel and now I get the opportunity to raise awareness and fundraise for such a great cause at the same time, which is such a privilege.
The program is simple: Half of all the funds I raise will be put in a special account for my trip, and the other half will go towards JNF’s green initiatives in Israel. I’m raising funds to specifically support JNF’s forestry work – work that has helped Israel enter the 21st century with a net gain in its number of tree; however, their work is not done and I hope I can count on your support.
Jewish National Fund began as a dream in 1901 to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. In the years since, JNF has made the dream a reality by greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.
Through this program, I hope to fund my trip to Israel on a gap year program called Nativ. On Nativ, for the first semester I would be studying at Hebrew University, which is ranked internationally among the 100 leading universities in the world and first among Israeli universities. For the second semester I would be doing community service in a town called Yerucham located in the southern district of Israel. During the first trimester of my junior year, I spent three months in Israel on a program called Muss, going to school where I studied Jewish culture and history both in and out of the classroom. Those three months could be described like some people describe summer camp, one of the best experiences of their lives or their "second home." On Muss my whole class became closer as a unit, and I don’t think that would have happened if we were somewhere else. We became closer because we were learning about our culture and modern day Israel, topics we all took an interest in. When people travel to Israel they feel something different, they feel safe. Some would say that those three months were enough and there is no reason for me to go back, but that experience has only made me want to go back for a longer period of time.
After going to a jewish day school for four years and spending those three months in Israel I have gained the skills I need to be able to advocate for Israel. This is another reason why I feel as though I need to go back, so I can further my education in advocacy for Israel as well as being able to take the skills I already have and use them to the best of my ability. I want to be able to advocate for Israel when I am in college as well as experience things that I wasn't able to during those short three months.
Please help me reach my fundraising goal for my Plant Your Way to Israel experience – make your tax-deductible donation today!