November 29, 2015

Na’ale 2015: Going Up on a Sunday

Theo Deitz-Green, '19

With the start of ninth grade comes an experience my classmates and I have all been anticipating: Na’ale. After watching every grade ahead of us go to Israel and hearing their stories, we are ecstatic that it is finally our turn.
Because of the security situation in Israel, our November 8 departure was not confirmed until October 28. The past month has been filled with tragedy in Israel and anxiety at GOA over the status of our trip. Many students and parents were apprehensive about traveling to Israel. Luckily, however, the situation is much more stable now, meaning that we can look forward to a safe and fun-filled ten days in Israel.
For me, however, this trip is even more special because it will be my first time returning to Israel since I lived there nine years ago.
In 2005, my family moved to Israel for a year because my dad was studying to become a rabbi. It was one of the greatest years of my life. I learned what it was like to be a true Israeli, from attending an Israeli kindergarten to traveling across the country with my family. But since coming back to the United States in 2006, I haven’t returned.
Since I was only five years old when I lived in Israel, I don’t remember everything. I hope that when I finally go back, memories of sights and places will rush back.
This time, however, something will be different when I go to Israel: I will be with my friends. Students in older grades have told me that being with friends in Israel is completely different from being with family. I am excited to see how our grade bonds and what new friendships materialize after 10 days together.
As my friends and I reviewed the trip’s itinerary, cries of “We get to go here?” or “We get to do this?” rang out. We all look forward to touring the country, putting our Hebrew to the test when meeting Israeli ninth-graders, and eating some great Israeli food.
The best part about Na’ale for me, however, will not be the activities themselves, or even the fact that I haven’t done them since almost a decade ago; it will be that my friends and I are doing them together
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