Meet your #Bus161 Staff | Shorashim - Israel with Israelis
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Meet your #Bus161 Staff

Shorashim

Get ready for an amazing adventure! #Birthright #Shorashim

*All pictures are either from your staff’s first trip to Israel, in general or as a staff person, or one of their favorite places*

Moos Jacobs

What's a fun fact about yourself?

I can touch my tongue to my nose!

What's your favorite site to go to take participants to and why is it your favorite?

Former Prime Minister David Ben Gurion's grave. This site challenges me personally, while thinking of personal visions, as well as national visions and dreams, and what I am willing to do, or not to do to fulfill them.

What do you love most about Shorashim?

Of course - the amazing people, and environment, created by them! 

What's your favorite city in Israel and why?

Its changes every once in a while, but for now, it is Jerusalem, because of what it has to offer people my age in terms of acquiring knowledge, life in community, and tons of action.

What's your favorite Israeli food and where is your favorite place in Israel to get this dish?

Unfortunately, I am addicted to hummus. My favorite place of eating it changes, because of the non ending chase of finding the best hummus. There are very good hummus shops in Jerusalem.

What's your favorite thing about Israel?

My favorite thing about Israel is its varied people. People from all around the world, living in this small place, side by side, despite the differences between them.

What are your words of wisdom for your future participants?

Hey guys, you got a great gift, give it a huge hug, and enjoy every second of it!

Rachel Kesner

Where are you from originally and where do you live now?

Chicago / Indianapolis.

When did you go to Israel for the first time?

When I was 10 for my brother's Bar Mitzvah.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I spent a year living in Israel after college and have thought about going back ever since. 

What's your favorite place to visit in Israel?

Kiryat Gat, of course.

What's your favorite place that you've ever travelled to and why?

I love spending time in Colorado! The mountains are so beautiful and fun to explore in any season. I love snowboarding and hiking plus it's an incredibly dog-friendly state.

What's your favorite Israeli food and where is your favorite place in Israel to get this dish?

Shakshuka!!! The best place to eat shakshuka is around a fire at the park with your friends. Everyone can make shakshuka; it's so simple and incredibly delicious!

If there was one aspect of Israel that you could bring back to America with you, what would it be?

I truly appreciate the honesty and open dialogue that you find quite often when talking to Israelis. It can be very refreshing to have such a direct conversation that can often be confused for impoliteness in the States, but far more effective in my opinion.

What's the #1 reason that you recommend that your friends and family should go on Birthright Israel with Shorashim?

Hands down having Israeli participants on the trip for the entire 10 days makes this experience incredibly special; I can't imagine a trip any other way. Although I've traveled to many places in Israel on multiple occasions, each experience is unique because of the people I'm surrounded by. While both the Israeli and American participants contribute to that in many ways, I think the participation and friendships of the Israeli participants bring a very authentic voice to a very tourist-based trip. Suddenly, you don't feel like a tourist anymore because you've become apart of very important and current debates and discussions about Israel and Jewish identity.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Rather than focus on what you don't like about something, try to find at least one thing you can take from the experience. 

What are your words of wisdom for your future participants?

Come open-minded but don't be afraid to ask difficult questions or challenge ideas.

Tess Levine

Where are you from originally and where do you live now?

I am from Miami and I currently live in NYC. 

What do you do for a living?

I am a graduate students at HUC-JIR in NY studying Jewish Education and I work at Temple Shaaray Tefila on the Upper East Side.

When did you go to Israel for the first time?

My first trip to Israel was with my family when I was 14. 

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I used to take fencing lessons. 

What's your favorite place to visit in Israel?

I love TEL AVIV. (I lived there for a year and that is where most of my friends live!)

What's your favorite place that you've ever travelled to and why?

Portugal. The people were wonderful, the beaches were beautiful, and the nightlife was exciting. 

What's your favorite Israeli food and where is your favorite place in Israel to get this dish?

HUMMUS HUMMUS HUMMUS-I will basically eat any hummus that is put in front of me. 

If there was one aspect of Israel that you could bring back to America with you, what would it be?

If I could bring back one aspect of Israel I would want to bring back the strong sense of community that I feel when I am there. 

What's the #1 reason that you recommend that your friends and family should go on Birthright Israel with Shorashim?

Fun, Travel, Judaism, Learning, History, Adventure, Spirituality, Community, Israelis!! :) 

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

When trying something new or unfamiliar, commit fully and jump in head first. 

What are your words of wisdom for your future participants?

Be present! You are about to embark on an amazing adventure be in the moment! 

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