May 2018

By Harris Mevorah

Last week, at the final Shabbaton in Ein Gev, Rabbi Zeff led a session describing “reverse culture shock.” Having been on a lengthy Israel program before, I thought I knew what the transition back to the US would be like. However, when Rabbi Zeff began going through the symptoms of what it means to go through reverse culture shock, I began to realize that going home is going to mean much more than simply popping back into my exact same life that existed five months ago. In fact, home has changed and I have changed.

Through the assortment of programs and discussion on this program, I have clarified my beliefs on what it means to build a successful North American Jewish experience as well as my own religious and political opinions. I realize that going home will not be easy for me, as I will not be able to explain exactly what I went through on this program.  Additionally, I am cognizant of the fact that it will be a lengthy process readjusting to my home life. That being said, I am excited to implement what I have learned into my various Jewish communities at home.

I know that the connection to the cohort, will help in describing what I am going through as many of them will also be experiencing similar emotions. Moreover, it is comforting to know that reverse culture shock is a psychological recognized phenomenon and that I am aware of it before I go home. Being equipped with this knowledge, as well as the cohort, will ultimately help me re-transition back to my life at home. Finally, it is clear to me that the knowledge that I have gained here will help me further my Jewish identity in America.