A Personal Reflection

July 18, 2014 | Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

Dear Detroit (and extended) Family,

Now that all our teens and staff are back on US soil, I would like to take a few moments to give a personal reflection of these last few weeks.  I know you will hear stories first hand from your children, and see pictures of all the amazing times.  But I would like to share some of the things you will not see, or feel.  I believe our mission photographer, Debbie Hill, said it best when she said to me: “I really can’t stop thinking about the courageous spirits and energy of the teens in their challenging time here…amazing really!”.  The staff and clergy on this mission have worked with many groups of young adults, in various settings, but I think it is safe to say that this group of teens is something special.  Not only did they have fun and open themselves up to exploring and getting to know Israel, but they did so with such poise and grace, in both the fun and challenging times.  When we first heard a siren, yes, people were alarmed/frightened/shocked, but more importantly, the group was supportive, inquisitive, and reassuring of each other.

I am so honored to have been a part of this group and so proud at how these teens represented our community.  It is a tragedy that our mission had to end short and that the events that caused this are ongoing.  We all are praying for the safety of our new-found friends and family living in Israel, as well as the civilians being affected on both sides. Thank you all for your constant support during these last few weeks, and for sharing your wonderful teens with us.  We are all forever changed by these last 17 days.

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