'Tis the season for expressing gratitude. We at Springboard are thankful for our fantastic Social Media Interns and below they share the local organizations and experiences they are most thankful for.
“I am thankful for to Israel on Ta'am Yisrael because it changed my life. Going on Ta'am Yisrael was not my first time going to the holy land, but it sure was a life changing one. I met tons of new friends, visited the holiest sites, ate the most amazing food, and had lots of fun. Whether it was waking up at 4 am to hike up Masada, seeing an Ethiopian comedian, eating shakshuka at one of the finest restaurants in Jaffa, standing in the hallway of my hotel straightening boys’ hair, Israel was full of the most amazing experiences I had ever witnessed. My two best friends as of right now were people that I met on the trip. Close to 1/3 of camera roll on my phone is just filled with pictures from Israel. I am now so much more involved with youth groups, services at temple, and just Jewish activities in general. It would have never happened had I not gone on this trip. The entire week was so action packed that looking back it seems like it was 2 weeks because we did so much in the one week we went.
One of my biggest takeaway from this trip, was really figuring out what my own Jewish identity is. I never, ever would have been able to do that without this trip. I really learned what it means to be a Jewish person in both Israel, and bring it back here to Chicago. I learned my history and my present and it gave me the ability to see what kind of change I want to make in this world. Never have I been so happy to be Jewish in life before this trip. I used to not be religious at all, but now I do my best to keep kosher, go to Friday night services, and attend any Jewish events around me. I will forever be grateful to the entire trip of Ta'am Yisrael for giving me the gateway to do that and help me figure out who I am."
“This Thanksgiving I am thankful for USY because it gave me the opportunity to meet my best friends! As a young eighth grader I was not inclined to go to a Jewish program, in which I knew no one else except for my sister, Miranda. As a sophomore now, I am very grateful for my sister's instinct to push me into going to my first event. USY is an organization built through relationships, and not only have I made the best of friends, I guarantee that you will also. We're not just a conservative Jewish youth group that prays, we participate in innovative programming that allows us to experience Judaism in a whole new way. Through USY I have been able to connect to myself and my friends through Judaism in ways I never would've seemed possible. Whether it's USY, NFTY, JSC, or Springboard I encourage you to get involved in any way you can because Jewish youth groups and opportunities have allowed me to experience Judaism differently instead of just through prayer, and allows myself to make memories and best friends that last a lifetime.
Springboard is just one of many Jewish opportunities that allows teenagers to be involved with other Jewish teenagers like them. Building these types of relationships is an opportunity that you do not want to miss, and I certainly won't be missing this year on the Big Apple trip to New York and Cooking Experience at Camp Chi during presidents weekend and spring break! So bring yourself and your friends for the experience of a lifetime on any springboard trips that fit your style!”
“Camp Nageela is a Jewish overnight summer camp that I have been going to for two years, next year will be my third. I have been going because some friends from school and Hebrew school had been going, and their Shabbatons were always fun. Many of my friends include Mollie, Elianna, Lirit, Heather, Hailey, Liat, and many more. Around them, I truly feel like I can be myself. No matter what we talked about, we always connected and joked together in a sense that we understood. I feel accepted, understood, and welcome among them. I am able to speak to them and talk about how I feel without feeling judged. Nageela is a very open and friendly place, and I was always surrounded by my friends.
Camp is a wonderful place to meet friends and feel understood, no matter which camp you go to. Camp friends are different from regular friends because you create a special bond with them at camp. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my camp friends because I have a special bond with amazing people that I could never find anywhere else.”