This past summer, I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to attend International Leadership Training Seminar (ILSI) 2018. BBYO has taught me that as members of this generation–our voices matter–and we all have the potential to be catalysts for change worldwide. However, after several years of leadership training and learning how to build up our chapters, communities, regions, and the International Order overall, something was missing: growing my personal leadership. ILSI let me feel the serenity of Shabbat in the Jew’s promise land, dive into the vibrant and friendly society, and see Israel’s beauty from the Dead Sea to the Negev Desert to the busy streets in Tel Aviv to the top of Masada. Everyday was a totally new adventure: river rafting on the Jordan, camping in Bedouin tents in the Negev, hiking Masada at 3 AM, touring Haaretz Newspaper headquarters, floating in the Dead Sea, feeling the serenity of Shabbat at the Western Wall, and indulging in rich Israeli culture.
Israel is the Jewish homeland. The history, faith, religion, culture and identity of the Jewish people have always been tied to this land, from its ancient name of Judea to its modern name of Israel. Going to Israel for the first time was a building block of my Jewish identity. Through reflection and touring groups, my thoughts and perceptions on Israel were constantly challenged and questioned. ILSI gave me the opportunity to seek personal growth and tap into my own beliefs. I am forever thankful for BBYO for building this incredible Israel experience.
I highly encourage anyone and everyone to attend ILSI whether it is your first trip to Israel or sixth. Words cannot express the immense gratitude and appreciation I have for my ILSI family and the amazing three weeks I experienced in Israel. Israel is a must see for every Aleph and BBG and what better way to explore the Jewish homeland than with BBYO. Sign-up for ILSI and experience the trip of a lifetime!
Lilly Sitver is a BBG from Cotton States Region who loves adventuring in the Smoky Mountains, eating chicken biscuits, and spending time with her friends.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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