ILSI Update #1

Shalom ILSI 2018 Family and Friends,

Hello from the Holy Land and from ILSI! On our opening night we discussed how Israel, is not only going to be our home but our classroom. On ILSI, we are going to explore this vibrant country, understand some of its complexities and use our time to refine our leadership. Guided by ten values, our experience will be focused on us as individuals. Most of us have had practical skills training, but on ILSI we define our personal priorities which we use to guide the types of leaders we want to be. With 3,000 years of historical leaders and powerful narratives, Israel is a great classroom.

Our first day was in the Old City of Jerusalem, where we find ancient ruins, a bustling city and important sights in our shared history. We saw the walls of Jerusalem that have seen many wars, remains of a “main street” from the Roman period and King David’s supposed palace. We journeyed underground to tunnels that were used in a siege of the city of Jerusalem – the story of which you can find in the bible. These tunnels are flooded from a natural spring, which was refreshing during the hot day. After drying off, we walked to the Western Wall, the holiest site for our Jewish people. The Western Wall, or Kotel, is a remaining support wall of the foundation for the Jewish Temple. Today, on the spot where the Temple stood, the Temple Mount, now stands the Dome of Rock. Across from the dome is the Al Aqsa Mosque, which is mentioned in the Qur’an. We prepared notes, walked to the Western Wall and had personal prayer and reflection time.

After dinner, we met our Mishpachot, our “families”, for the first time! These reflection groups are where we will review the day. Centered around our values and questions, this is where we start to refine our leadership. This is where we are challenged to think critically about our presumptions, values and discover our drives and guiding principles.

We have much more to share in the coming weeks and we cannot wait to share them with you. Until then, please go to the BBYO Passport Facebook page to view photos in the International Leadership Seminar in Israel album.

“This is my first time in Israel and I can proudly say that the connection that I felt today in Old Jerusalem made me feel like I was finally at home. I did not feel like a tourist while walking through the City of Jerusalem or the City of David but rather like every other person walking through the streets. Experiencing the holiest place on earth with my best friends is definitely a once in a lifetime experience.”
– Sophia Glaros, BBYO Northern Region East: DC Council

“Having already been to Israel two times, returning for a third time with BBYO has given me the chance to explore Israel in a completely new way: striving to understand more nuanced perspectives and further refine my leadership skills.”
– Eli Minsky, BBYO Mountain Region

Shabbat Shalom,

More updates soon!

Follow our Facebook album for picture updates! Click here!  Please note, you do not have to have a Facebook account to view the photos.

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