Israeli Chronicles — Connecting Israel & Cincinnati
Eighth Graders from Netanya Exchange Cities, Laughs with Rockwern Counterparts — Hadas Silver
By Hadas Silver
We recently welcomed to our community a group of eighth graders from Netanya! They traveled to Cincinnati with Partnership 2GETHER for an exchange with Rockwern Academy.
The delegation consisted of six great teenagers from ORT Leibovitz, each of whom was hosted by a family of an eighth grader at Rockwern. Next month, the eighth grade hosts from Rockwern will travel to Netanya and stay with their new Israeli friends!
When I was in eighth grade, I came to Cincinnati through the Scouts to Camp Friedlander. I still remember the amazing people I met and the friendships I formed at camp. These people continued to be part of my life, even after I went back to Israel. I can personally attest to how important these kinds of interactions and delegations are to emerging identities. Having this opportunity to spend time with eighth graders that are having a similar experience was incredibly interesting and so much fun!
Throughout the week, the Rockwern delegation had time to get to know the community, learn about living “Jewishly” outside of Israel, and participate in several events like Super Sunday, a Passover delivery project, a BBYO activity for teens of all abilities, and more!
They also spent a lot of time with the eighth graders at Rockwern. In one particular discussion, they were all talking about the strong connections that had been made between them.
“I had so much fun,” said one of the teens. “I felt like we were playing with old friends. I completely forgot we only met a few days ago!”
In that moment, I knew this trip was a success.
It reminded me of something my supervisor Sharon Spiegel once told me and that really stuck with me. “We are one family, living in two different homes.” This means we must get to know each other in order to maintain the family and keep it strong.
The delegation of eighth graders from Netanya illustrates that we truly are one, big family, and by getting to know each other as individuals, we will continue to be strong and united.
Each September the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati welcomes two new Friends from Israel/ Chaverim M’Israel. This year we welcomed Alon Peretz and Hadas Silver, who will stay through summer 2017. This is the 13th year of the Friends from Israel/ Chaverim M’Israel program, which brings two post-high-school teenagers from our partner city, Netanya, to Cincinnati to share their stories, and teach people across the Cincinnati area about Israeli life. The Chaverim program is a program of Partnership2Gether (P2G) of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. To bring the chaverim and their story to you, please contact Sharon Spiegel, Program Director, at email@example.com.