The past few weeks here have been a complete dream. Three weeks ago, I spent Shabbat in Jerusalem with my sister exploring the Kotel, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Yemin Moshe neighborhood, and grabbing pasta dinner with live music at the First Station. Then two weeks ago, a few other Boston Jerusalem participants and I took a bus down to Eilat for the long weekend due to Tisha B’av. While there, we went snorkeling, rode on a banana boat, took part in a guided sunset jeep tour, and explored Eilat’s abundant nightlife.
Finally, last weekend, my entire group headed down south again to Nitzana, a small educational village close to the Egyptian border, for our Shabbaton. We brought in Shabbat with unique Kabbalat Shabbat melodies, stargazed, built bonfires, and strengthened our connections with one another, which I hope we will bring home. Following Shabbat, our group ventured to Gush Etzion where we learned a bit about the Israel/Palestinian conflict and went to a winery and bakery.
Yet with all the traveling these past three weeks have held, I have also been able to further explore, enjoy, and strengthen my bond with the city of Jerusalem, my home for the summer. I am saddened to see my internship come to an end, but I feel as though I have truly made a difference. Recently, the other interns and I have had the opportunities to travel to both Be’er Sheva and Ashkelon to see first-hand the difference we are making in the scholastic after-school programs we are helping with in the Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel. It was really meaningful and I feel comforted knowing that I am returning home after having truly made a difference in the lives of Israelis. For now, I cannot believe that I only have a week left in Israel!
Aviva Weinstein, Brandeis University ’23, is an anthropology major interning at the Ethiopian National Project through the Boston Onward Israel program. ENP works with Ethiopian Israelis across Jerusalem. 125 students from Massachusetts colleges have professional internships in their fields of interest in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa this summer. Visit onwardboston.com for more info.
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