Our Diller Teen Fellows have arrived back from their Summer trip to Israel! If you have not seen it yet, check out their blog from their trip here! We wanted to hand over the mic this week to a few of our fellows who wanted to share a bit about the trip in relation to their Jewish identities. We are so proud to have been a part of this experience for them.
“This trip has helped me learn more about not just my own Jewish identity, but THE Jewish identity as a whole. Visiting the wall made me feel something spiritual for the first time in almost a year. Talking with Jews from all over the world helped reinforce the fact that I am never alone. And the knowledge I carry with me from this trip will be comforting for some time to come.”
“Through the knowledge I have acquired thanks to Diller, I am happy to say that it has improved my perceptions of Judaism and my Jewish identity. Diller provided me with the chance to interact with individuals from all over the world and discover commonalities where we might otherwise find differences. Diller forced me to think about who I was and what kind of Jew I wanted to be via the lives of other people. I was really fortunate to have the chance to spend three weeks with my cohort, and I came away from that experience not just with lifelong friends but also with a great understanding of those around me. I’ve learned three important lessons from Diller: patience, the knowledge that everyone makes mistakes but that you shouldn’t let them stop you from living, and the knowledge that no matter where you are in life, there is always room for progress. I am grateful to Diller for these three things and pleased to be a member of its community.”
“Before Diller, being Jewish was just a part of who I was. I went to synagogue, learned about the Tanakh, and had a bat mitzvah. I was Jewish because that was what my family did. But during Diller, I started to learn that being Jewish was not just a part of who I was but affected how I saw the world and how it saw me. Now, after spending a year thinking about what it means to be Jewish, I know so much more about who I am, both as a person and a Jew, and my trip to Israel helped to solidify that identity even more. Traveling to a place that has so much Jewish history really put my own Judaism into perspective in a way I do not think any other experience could.”