Simon Family Passport to Israel grant helps area teen with month-long trip

September 14, 2018

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This past summer I spent a month in Israel with 32 of my best friends, while meeting 52 new friends, on the most amazing trip of my life. We did all the typical activities you do when traveling to Israel, like floating in the Dead Sea and climbing Masada, but the fact that I was doing it with 84 other 16-year-olds, some whom I knew and others whom I was getting to know, made it all the more special and meaningful.

When people ask me where in Israel did we go, I say “where did we not go?” We spent time in the blazing heat of Eilat, walked around Jerusalem like our predecessors did, hiked an enormous number of mountains, cooled off a bit in the north, and spent a day at the lovely beaches of Tel-Aviv—and that only covers about half of what we did. Throughout the trip we learned all about Israel’s history, its advancements in science and technology and the country’s modern-day conflicts.

One of the many things I can say about this trip is that I could now teach a class on Israel. This trip introduced me to people from Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin, brought me closer to my camp friends whom I’ve known for years, and made me want to return to Israel as soon as possible. Audrey Peck traveled to Israel with funding from the Tidewater Jewish Foundation’s Simon Family Passport to Israel Program. The next round of applications is due on October 8, 2018.

– Audrey Peck 

For more information, visit http:// jewishva.org/tjf-passport-to-israel or contact Barb Gelb at bgelb@ujft.org.

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