Humans of Birthright: The Stern Family

11297697_10204911782777198_1705943239_n (1)“Coming with my sister Brooklyn and cousins Lydia and Cameron on Young Judaea Birthright was the most important thing to us because our bubbe (grandma) has been bringing this up for so many years. We all go to colleges across the country, so we don’t get to see each other often. We have a lot of family members who were definitely concerned about us going to Israel. They thought we would be in areas where we might be in danger, but it has been the complete opposite of that. It’s my first time ever out of the country (I got a passport for this trip!), so it’s amazing for this to be my first trip abroad, especially with my family. I’m so grateful that our bubbe pushed us to do it. Before the trip, I personally wasn’t completely sure what the point was, but it’s been the most incredible opportunity. The fact that we’re in Israel for free is hard for me to even put into words. I feel much more connected now to my ancestry, and was surprised how disconnected it is from religion. I was really concerned that this place was only about religion and for religious people, but that hasn’t been my experience at all. This has been a chance for me to become closer to my ancestry and proud of the fact that I’m Jewish. That’s such a cool part of my identity now.”