Hey Camp George!
I’m thrilled to be sharing words from 2012 C.I.T.’s Ariel, Justin and Ryan today, about their upcoming participating in NFTY’s Eisendrath International Exchange program (E.I.E.) Beginning in January, Ariel, Justin and Ryan will be spending their semester learning and living in various parts of Israel. Read on to learn about why they decided to participate, and what they’re most excited for!
– Can’t wait to hear updates about our participants from Israel!
Ariel: “I first heard of the NFTY EIE high school through Camp George; a speaker had come in the past couple of years telling us all about this one of a kind opportunity. As cliché as it sounds, I swear it feels like just yesterday that I was sitting in the lower lodge lounge with the rest of the CITs thinking to myself, “Man, could you imagine actually going through with something like that?!”
Coming home after an incredible summer, the thought of EIE was still in was in the back of my mind. After many pro and con lists, I knew that I was unable to pass up such an extraordinary experience and it was up to me to prove that I needed to go. After months of making guidance appointments, convincing my parents and applying, I was accepted on December 7th 2012.
I’m really looking forward to living and being immersed in such a unique culture and gaining a new perspective of Israel, something that is not possible if one goes only for a week or two as a tourist. My next semester will be full of adventure, from diving in the coral reefs of Eilat, camping beneath the Negev Desert stars, hiking from sea to sea, to training with the I.D.F., all while getting my mandatory high school credits together with 85 other kids my age, including some of my closest camp friends.
In less than 40 days what was once a hopeful idea will soon become a reality and I couldn’t be more excited!
Justin: “There are so many separate things I am looking forward to. First of all, we will be staying in Kibbutz Tzuba in apartments which will be a big change for me. I will be staying with Ryan Abrams for the first while, but we switch roommates three times so I hope to make great new friends as well. For the actual school part of the trip I am very excited to learn about a place one day then actually go visit it the next day. I have heard that we will be having many amazing field trips as well as one to Poland to see the concentration camps. In Poland I will also be meeting up with my other friend from camp Ben Roesky who lives only a few hours away in Germany. Overall I am excited to be immersed in a new culture and live a different style of life for four months.”
Ryan: “From this upcoming January to June, I will be going on NFTY EIE for the spring 2013 semester! As I’m writing this, it is less than two months away and fast approaching. I will be living and learning on Kibbutz Tzuba, which is just 15 minutes from the center of Jerusalem. The program provides a unique opportunity to learn about Israel and Judaism, as we don’t just read about things, we actually see them. Our group is about 85 students from the U.S. and Canada. Justin Polgar, Ariel Bates, and I are proud to represent Camp George and Canada being the only four Canadians in the entire group. Hearing from past participants including my sister Emily and other Camp Alumni really strengthened my excitement to apply. I know it’s going to be the experience of a lifetime, and I’m so happy to be able to share it with such great friends, and be able to meet so many new friends too.”
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