My experience in Bnei Barak learning about the orthodox community in that city was very interesting. We have been to religious areas of the country on other tiyuls, but this one, in particular, was very unique. Our tour took place during the third night of Hanukkah, and it was fascinating walking around the city and seeing menorahs through many people’s windows, especially in the large yeshiva (which our tour guide called “the Oxford of Yeshivas”). We walked by, where you could see the menorahs through every window in the building. Something else I learned was that the average age of marriage in the city is 18 for women and 23 for men, which I found very surprising.

The experiences I’ve had traveling around Israel and seeing many different communities and cultures is one of the biggest things I’m going to take away from this program. From Jewish communities to Ethiopian communities, to Arab communities, I feel like I’ve seen it all. Witnessing all these different communities has increased my appreciation of the diverse world we live in and its history.