Judaism Isn't Just My Religion It's My History

What Impact Mayanot Israel Had On Me
By: Heather Franzman, Birthright Israel: Mayanot Participant

Growing up I was raised in a household where religion didn’t hold much importance. Both of my parents are Jewish but felt that because they were made to follow a religion growing up, they didn’t want to make their children do the same. Attending public school never shaped any religious beliefs and I was never surrounded by many Jewish people.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve felt as though there should be a place for religion in my life. I knew I wanted to go to Israel and become absorbed in Jewish culture and Birthright Israel allowed me to do so.

Mayanot Israel not only allowed me to see the beautiful country of Israel but to learn about the history of Judaism and immerse myself in the culture. Through each experience during the trip, from seeing the beauty of Tzfat, touring Masada, riding camels in the desert, to Shabbot at the Western Wall, Mayanot not only showed me how Judaism isn’t just my religion, it’s my history.

Mayanot allowed me to see a place I wouldn’t normally have gone to visit, and as a result, has showed me that I want to be come more involved in Jewish life. In addition to becoming involved in the Chabad club of FIT (the Fashion Institute of Technology), I hope to learn Hebrew in the future and go back to Israel very soon.

Not only have I learned more about my religion, but the trip introduced me to new people that are now very good friends. Birthright Israel: Mayanot reintroduced me to the religion I was meant to observe and has given me great friends that will last a lifetime. I strongly urge everyone interested in Birthright Israel to go with Mayanot because they gave us the best experience possible.

Via: Chabad at FIT