Like many in eleventh grade, I could have gone on a journey to Poland with my school, but I felt that I wasn’t ready to make that journey at the time, if ever.
During my year of National Service, my year at the training farm, I was again offered the option of a journey to Poland, this time with the movement. The journey was harrowing, stirring, painful and heartbreaking, but it was also filled with light and with hope. The journey raised many questions and thoughts for me. It included so many stories that I would never have heard of anywhere else. The journey with the movement takes us through all aspects of the events. It made me think and challenge much of what I thought before I left for it, and reach conclusions that I can apply to my present.
If someone had told me in eleventh grade that I would go on this journey, I would not have believed it, and indeed I deliberated a lot before going, but I do not for a minute regret my decision to go, or that I had experienced it with the movement.
Youth counselor on National Service
It was meaningful to me to learn about the youth movements and their choices during the Holocaust, and the dilemmas they faced, and their bravery.
To me, it raised many questions about my identity. When I was little, I wanted to live abroad, but on this journey to Poland, I came to understand that as a Jewish-Israeli I would always be persecuted. The journey made me appreciate Israel more, and strengthened my love and my bond to the country, leading me to understand that we have no other country. This is my home.
I returned from the journey with many new friends and meaningful memories for life.