Last month, a group of 42 students from Tulane University in New Orleans landed in Israel, as part of a Birthright trip. The group was joined by eight soldiers from Rosh Ha’ayin who joined them for a week. Two days later, the group arrived for a visit in Rosh Ha’ayin in the framework of the “Birthright2GETHER” program of “Partnership2Gether Rosh Ha’ayin-New Orleans” by the Jewish Agency for Israel, connecting Rosh Ha’ayin to the Jewish community in New Orleans.
The group arrived to Begin High School, and for one afternoon it looked like the school yard turned into a playground. A group of junior volunteers divided the whole junior’s class into groups and the American students joined them. The excited juniors and students from New Orleans played and competed in groups and for two hours the only language spoken in school was English. It was hard to notice who is a local and who is a tourist, and when it was time to say goodbye it was very hard to separate the two sides. The School staff organized the event in an exceptional manner, under the direction of the principle Zehavit and the English coordinator, Monica.
After the meeting the Americans were hosted by the soldier’s families from Rosh Ha’ayin for an Israeli dinner.
Many American participants and the Israeli soldiers mentioned, the visit to Rosh Ha’ayin was one of the most significant experiences, many students mentioned this as the most prominent and meaningful part of their experience in Israel.