By Annie Abramowitz, Bus 5 Staff
Working for NFTY in Israel was never really on my mind until last summer. I remember sitting with my campers when one of them turned to me and said, “So, you’re going to be our counselor for Israel next summer?” I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to, so he had until the end of the summer to convince me. Honestly, I did not need that much convincing. I love my campers, and the thought of spending another summer with them in a country I love seemed amazing.
Furthermore, the challenge of combining two different camps into one group seemed fun. As I learned more about the program, I became more interested in the educational aspect of it. I have always loved Jewish education and being apart of helping shape the Jewish identity of the next generation of Jews. I also loved how NFTY in Israel is a fun, educational experience for Jewish youth.
I did not truly understand how much the education aspect of the program was important to me until I arrived at staff orientation. Preparing for the summer with my peers reminded me of the great impact this experience can make in the lives of our participants. I truly believe in this program and the impact it can create for Jewish teens who choose to come and experience it.
I initially wanted to work for NFTY in Israel so I could spend another summer with my campers, in Israel. But since I applied my reasons have grown. I am staffing because I want to help the next generations of Jews shape their Jewish identities. I want to help take two different communities and create one big kehillah. I want to introduce my bus to different Jewish communities beyond their own. I want to experience Israel with people those who have never been here before. Most importantly, I want to help give these teens the summer of a lifetime. Getting to spend the summer in Israel with my campers is just a bonus.