Who are Birthrighters?
Gonna be honest here, I did not have high expectations for the people on my trip to Israel. I like to travel independently and do my own thing, and the idea of being forced to spend 10 days with 40 strangers did not sound very appealing. I thought it would be a very personal trip and maybe I would meet one or two people to talk to, but that I would overall keep to myself. This could not have been any more wrong!
With the group hanging out on Shabbat
My friend Amir shattering every preconception I had about soldiers
I had so much fun with these girls
The people on my trip were AMAZING. By the end of the trip, we were a family. We laughed together, cried together, and caused some shenanigans along the way. Our last night out, we did some group superlatives (I won 'most likely to run a black market prescription pills website' due to an incident with some Ecuadorian painkillers I had brought along to cure hangovers). As the superlatives were announced, I realized I was genuinely going to miss these people.
My kick-ass roomies
I loved exploring the historical cities with these guys
There were some crazy characters, but as we pushed through these life-changing, eye-opening, and sometimes uncomfortable experiences together, everyone on the trip really grew on me.
At the burial site of David Ben-Gurion
Together, we hiked up Massada to watch the sunrise
Our group consisted of: photographers, dentists, club promoters, filmmakers, teachers, set designers, soldiers, backpackers, property managers, rappers, actors, lawyers, and doctors. It turned out to be a really creative and hilarious group of people, which I did not expect. Even our counselors and tour guide surprised me in a number of ways (despite our guide's occasional outbursts of fury- Hulk, anyone?).
Me with the best staff any group could have asked for
Our tour guide, Zeev
Zeev on a long winded lecture about Israeli history.
Get comfortable, people.
What can I say about my fellow Birthrighters? They were all passionate and adventurous. Everyone around me was motivated, successful, and driven. Everyone was open-minded and accepting. It was the first time in my life that I have been surrounded completely by Jews and it is something I could get used to. I don't think anything I could say about my Birthright group could do them justice.
Teary-eyed goodbye at the airport
Our first Birthright reunion in NYC- we couldn't even wait a week!