From a very young age, since we were aware of what Israel was, we have felt a deep connection to the Jewish homeland. Beginning in Olam Tikvah Preschool and continuing through Olam Tikvah Religious School, services, and programs, and Temple Sinai Religious School, Hebrew High, services, and programs we have learned about, heard about, dreamed about, seen pictures of, and watched people come back from Israel. We wanted nothing more than to go and experience this for ourselves. For years, we asked "Mommy, Daddy, when will it be our turn to go?"
Finally, in the summer of 2014 we had the incredible opportunity to attend a two week trip in Israel with our synagogue. From trekking through aqueducts, to climbing Masada, to floating in the Dead Sea, to watching animals at the Biblical Zoo, to listening to the Holocaust exhibit and mourning the loss of our brothers and sisters, to dining on a farm with goats, to taking Jeep rides, to praying at the Kotel, and everything in between, our experience in Israel was nothing short of incredibly awesome. On the night of our final dinner, as we walked out of the restaurant, we were hysterical -- everyone was. How could it already be time to leave? We had barely arrived! Early the next morning, we groggily made our way to the airport to fly back to America. Constantly, we were asking "When can we come back? When can we return home?" "Soon. We will come back home as soon as possible," our parents responded. As much of a connection as we had felt prior to going to Israel, it was immensely deepened and strengthened following our trip.
After six long years away from home, we have the opportunity to go back! We will be attending the TRY (Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim) semester in Israel program. This time, we will be more than just tourists -- we will be living in Israel for four months experiencing Israeli culture, learning about Israeli history, doing community service projects, making amazing new friends, learning Hebrew, and much more! Our deep love and passion for Israel also means we care for it greatly and want to help the beautiful land that Israel is. With the help of this fundraiser through JNF, half of our funds raised will go toward planting trees in Israel, and half will go toward our upcoming trip. It would be incredibly appreciated if you could donate to our fundraiser. Each donation is 100% tax deductible. Thank you so much!