Undeterred by the current unrest, a group of Jewish teens headed for Israel this summer on a national USY trip that took them first to Eastern Europe and then on to the Jewish state. After 10-days touring Eastern Europe, that included an emotional visit to Auschwitz, the group arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on July 14.
“It is a sad and scary time,” said Jamie Silverstein of West Hartford, whose daughter Noa is among the group’s participants. “But, I’m proud that my daughter’s group has remained in Israel. Her experience on this trip will be vastly different then our other visits. I am confident it will more firmly connect her to our beliefs and the survival of the State of Israel.”
Noa, who is a rising high school senior, is scheduled to return home on August 10. Though some of the group’s itinerary has been modified as a result of the conflict, says her mom, USY has maintained the program’s objectives to create a strong and vibrant Jewish experience.
“Not one of the kids made mention of coming home,” says Silverstein. “In fact, Noa texted me from Poland, letting me know how vitally important it was to her, emotionally, to continue on to Israel. When she arrived, her message was ‘Mom, I’m home.’”