Why I now love Israel!

Mount Zion teen Ani Sward travels with NFTY in Israel

Over the summer, I spent one month in Israel with NFTY’s (our Reform Movement’s teen) summer program. With three options to choose how you want to see Israel with NFTY, I choose the Adventure Program. I spent a month traveling all over Israel with 45 other teens from all over the United States, and spent a week with 13 Israeli teens. We saw everything, and did everything, all while learning about the history of the Jewish people, and the history of Israel. I never thought it was that big of a deal to go to Israel even though everyone around me spoke of it and how important it is. However, after being there for a month, I fell in love with Israel, and its people, my people. I loved every moment from sleeping under the stars in the Negev desert, going on hikes, and just spending Shabbat with my friends. Thanks to Mount Zion’s scholarship fund, and my parents’ support, I was able to have the best summer I’ve ever had, and the greatest experience of my life.