The Importance of a Year

June 28, 2024
Ruby Borer

Sydney, Australia

Class of 2024

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The world around us changed forever on October 7, and through every emotion of the past 8 months I have never lost hope, I have never lost my dream of spending next year in Israel. As a senior this year, the decisions surrounding my gap year seem even more heavy, while my head tells me one thing and my heart tells me another, I truly believe that now more than ever the decision to spend a year in Israel is imperative. 

I honestly can’t put a pin on the point I decided that Israel would be the destination for my gap year, I remember my oldest cousin going in 2014 and not understanding the true gravity or meaning behind that decision. I do remember, however, the moment I chose which program I was going on. I remember returning from summer camp in 2018 at the ripe age of 12, I turned to my parents and stated “You’re not gonna see me much in 2025,” and from that point onwards my heart was set and my brain has been continually thinking about what my year will look like. 

However, 12-year-old me definitely did not realize that I would be making this decision in the midst of the largest-scale Israel-Palestine conflict of my life and that the complexity and intricacies that I am grappling with today would play a role in my decision.  My lifelong dream of spending my gap year in Israel has not been broken, but looking at our homeland my heart says one thing but my brain says another. I am someone who truly hugs and wrestles with Israel and while it is a country I love, I recognize the complexities and injustices of Israeli society always looking for ways to resolve the difficulties in Israeli society. So while my brain constantly talks about the danger and issues in Israeli society, my heart says something different and I truly cannot wait to go back there, to help rebuild Israeli society and lay formations for a peaceful future in every way that I can. 

This year more than ever the global community is being forced to truly recognize and grapple with the challenges that lay ahead, but this is why I believe that this year more than ever we need people willing to go, to spend a year helping, volunteering and changing Israeli society for the better. I think almost everyone can agree that change is needed from both sides, change in leadership, change in mindset, and change in methods, but truly change can only be achieved when people willing to fight for and bring about change come together and do just that. This is why this year more than ever, I feel inclined to hold on to my dream, hold on to my hopes of volunteering in Israeli society, in being a small part of laying foundations for a peaceful future. 

So while October 7, changed my life and will play a significant role in my opinions surrounding what to do next year, it definitely did not break my dreams, if anything it made them stronger.

Ruby Borer is a BBG living in Sydney, Australia who has a dog named Marshmello.

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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