I was extremely excited about this trip, but was a bit nervous not knowing most of the kids very well. I truly came to love them all during this experience. Watching them experience Israel and learn her history and beauty was awe inspiring. One of my jobs was to bring up the rear when we walked anywhere to make sure we did not lose anyone. I am blessed to have these memories which I will always treasure:
– Alexa Bader had such a positive attitude, even on the days we were exhausted. I must have heard her say, “this is fun!” at least 5 times during different activities. Her positivity was contagious!!!!
-Emmie Brody was always smiling and she gave me plenty of hugs. She was often slightly over-caffeinated according to her roommates. I think she surprised herself with how much walking she did.
– Jeremy Davis was one of the most engaged kids in participating with the tour guide. He could one day be a history professor. He also enjoys talking smack when he beats me at euchre. But who won the last game 10-1?
– Lexy Hendel was very funny. She entertained the girls a lot with her accents and humor. Because the Hendels live in Findlay, she probably had the least interaction with the others prior to this trip. It was moving to see the kids relationship with her fully blossom.
– Brian Glasser had a constant smile on his face that made me think he was up to something. He is extremely smart, well-spoken and a great big brother. He spoke beautifully to the school kids in our partnership region.
– Carolyn Glasser is so sweet to all of the kids. Her relationship with Brian reminds me of my sister’s relationship with me when we were that age. She would often drop back to the back of the group to talk with me when walking places. I love her independence!!
– Miranda Hupp is a fairly picky eater who did not really love the Israeli food options. Therefore, she was the most appreciative when we received special pizza meals. She is a magnet to the other kids, they all love her. She also conquered her fear of cable cars.
– Nathan Podolsky wins the award for best sense of humor. He always made sure our guide equated all distances in terms of football fields so we could understand better. He taught the Israeli kids how to dab. Kol ha kavod!
– Lila Goldman had never flown on a plane before and I am sure was nervous about being that far from home. She not only survived, but thrived. She loved being with the kids and I am so glad she was part of this trip. She even sang for all of us at the bonfire by the beach.
-Sam Richards always had a smile on his face and could be one of the nicest kids I have ever met. He was our tech guru helping out with blog posts and never complaining. He probably had the toughest time in the tunnels because of his height, but I know of no head injuries.
– Margaret Roberts and I had a chance to bond on this trip. She loves to share her interests in comics, music, and television. She loved the stray cats in Israel and I had to keep her from bringing one home to her mom.
– Maddie Smith also had never flown before. She is so sweet and always smiling even when she was dead tired. She really bonded with the other girls. She admitted to me she missed her dad’s cooking.
– Quinn Murphy is so expressive and was one of the most enthusiastic kids when he found an activity or food he liked. He loved the waterfall at Ein Gedi. He loved the food at our final night dinner and was a joy to have on the trip.
– Ian Mahoney was enthralled by the art, architecture, archaeology, and history. He was so interesting to talk to and get his take on what moved him. He was blown away by the ark at the Italian Synagogue. He is an excellent euchre player too.
– Jamie (Lizzy) Sherman was a joy to have with us. She sat up front on the bus and participated with Yair, our tour guide. She did everything and was so emotional leaving Israel. It showed me how much she must have loved the entire experience.
– Asher Kripke. Getting to go to Israel with my son was emotional, and I often found myself tearing up. At the top of Masada, we davened as we both wore talit given to us by our grandparents. Alison captured a picture of him showing me how to wrap tefelim. He is mensch who I am proud to call my son.
– chaperoning with Alison and Ivor was a pleasure. Ivor has such passion for music, for Israel, for the Jewish people and for these kids. He helped plan a great trip, along with our travel agent Michelle, and Kim Brody. He infused stories to make the history relatable while knowing when to pull back and let the kids chill out. Alison was a calming and motherly figure to the kids. It was not easy for her to make the sacrifice to be away from her family, we were so lucky she made the tough decision to come with us.
– Thank you to everyone who played a part in making this trip possible including my grandparents, of blessed memory. I went to Israel 35 years ago for the first time as a Bar Mitzvah present from my grandparents. I am so thankful to have the honor and pleasure of chaperoning a trip named for them and to experience many of the same things 35 years later with kids from B’nai Israel. Both Israel and B’nai Israel were special to Sherwin and Naomi and to me as well.