• Reflections on Our Jewish Journey and the Choices Ahead

    By Rabbi Rich Kirschen, Director Now that the NFTY in Israel journey has ended, another journey is beginning. Once your teens have rested and have had a chance to catch up with the family and friends they missed over the summer, it will be well worth your while to help these world travelers reflect on […]


    Continue reading
  • I Thank Therefore I Am ….

    By Rabbi Rich Kirschen, Director Many of you are familiar with the quote from the great French philosopher Rene Descartes who said, “I think, therefore I am.” It is an interesting concept however, Jewish tradition is somewhat different because our approach is more like… “I thank therefore I am.” I had this realization the other […]


    Continue reading
  • Why I Chose Sea to Sea

    By Logan Citroen, Bus 4 Participant I chose to participate in Sea to Sea, because the idea of hiking and camping from the Sea of Galilee to the Mediterranean Sea sounded like a once in a lifetime opportunity. Before the trip I wasn’t really sure if I would enjoy camping for four days, but after […]


    Continue reading
  • Why I Chose Gadna

    By Rachael Metzgar, Bus 4 Participant I would like to preface this with the fact that I am insecure. I don’t often find myself overcoming huge challenges – and that’s exactly why I signed up for Gadna. I wanted to push myself and try new things.  The first day was by far the worst. We […]


    Continue reading
  • On the Wings of Eagles

    By Rabbi Rich Kirschen, Director So much of our trip this summer is dedicated to experiential Jewish learning and Jewish identity formation. NFTY in Israel presents an itinerary that tells the epic, 3,000-year-old, story of the Jewish people; or what Israelis call from Bible to Bibi! Just as it is important for these teens to […]


    Continue reading
  • One Thing I Want To Learn This Summer

    By Albany Nelson, Bus 4 Participant I’ve always liked being Jewish. I’ve always loved the culture and asked many pondering questions since I was young. For so long I asked my parents for a trip to Israel year after year after year. Every year they would say “maybe next year”. So, when I heard that […]


    Continue reading
  • NFTY in Israel: A Reform Jewish Journey

    By Rabbi Rich Kirschen, Director As you are reading this, our teens are preparing for Shabbat services in the Galilee, on the Mediterranean coast, in Jerusalem and even in Krakow, Poland. This has been an intensive week for all our participants who have been exploring and learning about a remarkable array of ideas and events. […]


    Continue reading
  • First Impressions

    By Aviva Brynjegard-Bialik, Bus 4 Participant What was my first thought when I stepped off of the plane? Well, first was “thank goodness the 13 hour plane ride is over.” But after that, I couldn’t help but feel that this is home. I can’t help but feel connected to Israel. Seeing and hearing Hebrew everywhere […]


    Continue reading