Hannah Sanderson went on Israel Tour with LJY-Netzer in 2011.
Israel tour was one of those experiences that I knew I wanted to go on, but didn’t know who to go with. My friend, who had been on LJY-Netzer events previously, encouraged me to go on summer camp and see if this was the youth movement for me. It was, and a year later I was at Luton airport, boarding a plane to Israel.
I was nervous, never had I been away from my parents for so long, but I was also excited. Having been on an LJY-Netzer event the previous summer, I knew I was in for a wonderful experience. Tour is crazy, hectic and fun. For a girl who had just finished her GCSEs (wow that feels like a long time ago!) it provided a chance to introduce me to a world outside our Western bubble, without being such a different culture that it was intimidating. Splashing around in the waterfalls of Ein Gedi, or going camel riding in the desert and camping under the stars are just a few of my favourite the memories I have of my tour experience.
It truly was an experience.
We were introduced to peoples and cultures that I had never heard of before, and it made me realise how much there is that I just didn’t know about. I guess you’d call it eye-opening, although that sounds incredibly cheesy! The truth is, had I not gone on tour, I probably wouldn’t have travelled outside of the West later on in life. I was inspired by what learnt about different cultures. If i hadn’t had gone on LJY-Netzer Israel Tour I wouldn’t have known what I was missing out on.
Not only was it knowledge that I gained, but also friendships. Being on Tour together, it really does forge lifelong relationships with lovely, funny people. LJY-Netzer encouraged and helped us build an inclusive and warm community. Experiences of hiking together, of volunteering together, of just having fun really does create strong bonds. It was the fun, friendship and inspirational leaders I found on LJY-Netzer that made me want to do Kayitz and continue my movement journey.
I have no doubt that participating in Israel tour changed my life. In those four weeks I grew up a lot. I began to ask important questions about myself, my beliefs both religious and moral. This is the environment that LJY-Netzer creates, where they encourage us to challenge ourselves. Even now, over four years since I participated on this trip, I am still asking those same questions. This time at University, where my decision to study International Relations was greatly influenced by a journey that started in 2011 at Luton airport. Now about to embark on my dissertation, which is focused on Israel, I look back and realise the significant extent to which my future was shaped, not necessarily by Israel tour; but by the people who I was with, my leaders and LJY-Netzer a whole.
by Hannah Sanderson
Sign up for LJY-Netzer Israel Tour here: https://form.jotformeu.com/53204829712353 or to read more about it click here netzer.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/185297_2250398346344_8171436_n.jpg">