Israeli Citizen, April 2019
Where do I begin? Since the day I was born the importance of Israel to the Jewish people has been instilled in me. My grandparents always spoke about their love for Israel and the its significance to the Jewish people. I attended Jewish day school at Scheck Hillel for nine years. And now my family is a part of a tight-knit community that has its own shul inside my neighborhood.
I first went to Israel in 2004 with my family as part of a Greater Miami Jewish Federation mission. I returned in 2008 with the March of the Living, after spending the previous week in Poland, learning about the horrors of the Holocaust and further emphasizing the importance of Israel to my people.
In 2012 I went on my Birthright trip, and literally had to be dragged on to the plane home by my friends. Admittedly, this instance may have had something to do with the cute Israeli soldier who was assigned to our bus. Regardless, it felt wrong leaving so soon, and I knew the next time I went I needed to stay longer.
In 2014, another family trip to Israel was planned. I headed over 3 weeks earlier to volunteer in a Sar El program, where I had the chance to to live and work on an army base during Operation Protective Edge. Being around our soldiers during a time of war and seeing the sacrifice they made left me wanting to do more.
I pondered joining the IDF, but the Jewish guilt of doing that to my poor mother weighed heavily on me. I continued to search for the best way I could contribute more to Israel and its causes.
Luckily, I discovered Skeleton and found an opportunity to combine my two greatest passions - sports and Israel. I plan to use this opportunity I have to share the awesomeness of Israel with my friends and family.
Above photo is of my time spent at the Kfar Sirkin base as part of the Sar El volunteer program in 2014.
Also, a photo from my favorite memory of all my time in Israel - getting to see my Dad and Uncle Scott become men, when they both got Bar Mitzvah'd during our 2014 family trip by a very petite Rabbi.