Year Course participant Hannah Newburger on a recent field trip.
Recently section two of Year Course was one of several MASA programs invited by the WZO to a field trip to Mount Herzl. While there, we learned about many famous Zionist leaders buried there including Yitzak Rabin, Golda Meir, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and Theodore Herzl. It was beneficial to learn about such famous people in Israeli and global history because it makes us appreciate where we are living this year. Our tour guide showed us an article which related Rabin’s assassination to Gedaliah’s assassination because they were both killed by a fellow Jew.
Sitting in a graveyard filled with soldiers that have fought and died for a Jewish nation, got me thinking about what these soldiers were defending. Not only are they defending the righteousness of Israel, but of the Jewish people as well. After discussing this and learning more about Har Herzl, we met someone who made aliyah eight years ago and is now studying law at IDC. He shared his story with us about what it was like to be a lone soldier, which I’m sure went to the hearts of other people thinking of making aliyah. Later, there was a ceremony celebrating the seventh night of Hanukkah with other gap year programs from around the world. We celebrated with music, jelly donuts, and a visit from a minister of the government. It was such a great way to celebrate the festival of lights. We were surrounded by Jews our age from around the world all in Israel to study and learn for a year, at a place where some of the most iconic leaders in Israeli and Zionist history are buried.