“I had the great privilege to be part of the Yom Ha’atzmaut mission and get acquainted with a warm and Zionistic Jewish community.” Thus sums up one of the participants in the delegation to Montreal during the week of Israel’s Remembrance Day and Yom Ha’atzmaut 5773.
Students from Ulpanat AMIT in Beer-Sheva together with representatives of additional high schools in the city travelled for an eight-day Yom Ha’atzmaut mission to the Montreal community – within the framework of the Partnership2Gether project. While in Montreal, the Israeli students paid visits to their twinned schools. Here are some of the mission members’ impressions and experiences:
“This was an amazing and empowering experience. I was so happy to meet Jews of my age and others from the Diaspora, and also encounter a Jewish and religious lifestyle outside of Israel.”
“During the actual mission, we were mostly busy with just being there, running through the content we had planned, and trying to meet our schedule. But now that the pressure’s settled down, I truly view this trip as a genuine mission in every sense of the word! I should say that this mission will continue accompanying me through my life and that I’ll continue being in touch with the amazing people I met there.”
“I felt I conducted my part of the mission in the best way possible. I felt then, and still feel, part of the people I met there, even now despite the great distance. They gave me a feeling like that.”
“Each person contributed and taught something to the other – we on the Israeli side and they on the Canadian side. It was most interesting (for me at least) to see how they manage in that society and how they preserve their Judaism and tradition.”
“It was an experience to get to know youths from the Diaspora and be exposed to a Jewish lifestyle outside of Israel.”
“Far from home, I felt Remembrance Day in an especially intense way. And on Yom Ha’atzmaut it was so moving to see Jews and non-Jews coming to express their support for our country and celebrate its independence.”
Principal of the Ulpana, Ms. Noa Hacohen sums up: “This unique mission gives our students a different view of contemporary Zionism; of the meaning of being a Jew in the State of Israel and love of Israel.”
Avigail Rosenberg, a teacher escorting the girls on the flight: “It was a great privilege to be part of the Gesher Chai mission and get acquainted with such a warm and Zionistic community. The students were splendid emissaries and brought a lot of pride to the Ulpana and to our country. The girls fulfilled their mission in Montreal wonderfully and represented us with honor, as we were hosted by a warm and embracing community. Among other things, we delivered lessons at our twinned school and got to know a lot of good and wonderful people. The Montreal Jewish community is very connected with Israel, the Jewish People and the Torah. They are good Zionists and as proof of this, they invested great efforts in producing Remembrance Day and Yom Ha’atzmaut ceremonies that we took part in and which were extremely moving. It got us all into the spirit of the occasion.”
All of the ceremonies and events were attended by numerous people, but the high point was the Israel Rally. A huge march of thousands of good Jews, Israelis, and Montrealers. Everyone was waving small Israeli flags, or wrapped in giant flags, marching together down Montreal’s main street to identify and express their solidarity with Israel. The marchers were accompanied by a DJ who boosted everyone’s spirits with Hebrew and Chassdic music.
“Without a doubt, we felt happy, elated and mainly proud-over the miracle of the 65th anniversary of the founding of Israel.”