May 2017

By Jenna Roth

As the end of Cohort 3’s journey together in Israel grows near we had the opportunity to spend the day immersed in Israel and with each other through a hike at Nachal Peres. Prior to the hike, every time we discussed the itinerary for the upcoming weeks, I did not quite understand why we were designating a full day to traveling to the Negev and spending hours hiking. As we almost mark the end of our Israel experience together shouldn’t we be spending one of our last days learning or hearing from another inspiring speaker?

Yet within the first few minutes of our arrival I understood why we were here. Being physically and completely emerged in the land of Israel in Nachal Peres is a value that is ingrained in Israeli culture and brings you back to the roots of the Jewish people. The scenery and environment is incomparable to anywhere else in the world and you are constantly reminded how saturated the country is in history, the meaning of where you, and how far we have come as a people. As our hike began my thoughts brought me back to the beginning of our Nachshon journey when I was told that the country is now our classroom. Although we were not spending one of our last days with a speaker learning about how to be a great Jewish leader as I anticipated, I was reminded why I want to be. Our hike at Nachal Peres was essential in reaffirming our connection to the land and the rich history it offers as our time in Israel comes to an end. As the hike proceeded, my mind flooded with thoughts of the ways that I want to bring my love for Israel back to America and my motivation hit its maximum as I reflected on all of the experiences that Nachshon has provided me and leading up to spending one of our last days at Nachal Peres.

The environment in which we were absorbed in played a special role in this experience yet one of the most powerful aspects of our time spent in Nachal Peres was being completely together as one united Cohort. We spent the day with just us- a cohort of Jewish leaders who were brought together from different strands of America who once did not know each other and now play a leading role in each others life. Continue reading