Shalom from Haifa! My name is Billie Hirsch, and I am a participant of OTZMA, a ten-month leadership development and volunteer-oriented program sponsored by the Jewish Federations of North America as well as CJP. Since late August of last year, I have been awarded the bragging rights of calling Israel my current home. Although I can never expunge or replace the memories of my past four years of living the student life in Boston, I am absolutely loving life here and taking full advantage of everything this country and this city have to offer.

 created at: 2012-02-07

While being in Israel, the experiences I devote myself to being exposed to on a daily basis and the skills and talents I work to continuously develop are ones that I eagerly anticipate bringing home with me to Boston proper in July, when my program concludes.  It is a gross understatement to say I am simply excited to be volunteering and living here in Haifa, Israel; rather I feel beyond honored to have been afforded this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give back in Israel and to truly learn of this country’s culture, history and politics. I am overall flattered to be representing the Jewish and youth community of Boston. I wake every morning to the sight of the Carmel Mountain, blessed to be residing in such a gorgeous city. Of course, the 65-degree weather in early February doesn’t hurt.

OTZMA has been in Haifa for exactly one month now, and the past few weeks have given us some time to settle in and explore, growing comfortable with our apartment and learning lots about the Haifa-Boston Connection…


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