I'm back from Israel and ready for a new year! The trip with Taglit-Birthright Israel group Shorashim was an amazing experience, and I'm already looking for ways to head back. The country may be small (you can travel end-to-end in four hours), but it's so diverse and beautiful, and, somehow, I felt like I was home.
The above photo was taken as I sat atop a camel while overlooking the Negev Desert, where we stayed in Bedouin tents for the night - there was a gift shop and everything. The man in the corner really gives you context for the vast sands and skies.
I definitely made friends for life on this trip, both with the Americans in my group, and with the Israelis who joined us when we arrived - over 50 of us all together!
I learned so many things about Israel, Judaism and culture, and am truly thankful for this opportunity.
In fact, I even had my bat mitzvah ceremony, and my new friend Itamar captured it all on camera! My chosen Hebrew name is Gila, meaning happiness and joy, and it truly captures how I felt in Israel, and how I feel now upon reflection.
I can't wait to share photos, videos, and more about the trip!