JCC Blog & News

Reflections of Israel by Jen Landis

access_time May 1, 2020 - By Erin Levine-Krynock

Going to Israel was a blessing. I am lucky to be part of such an amazing facility that would offer this to their employees. Ever since I was a young girl my grandmother wanted to go to Israel. When I was asked to be part of the JCC team that was going, I initially said yes for her. She passed away 2 years ago and I can still hear her say how she would like to go the Israel someday. To me it was a historical place that I read about in the Bible and was a huge part of my growing up. I learned the stories and what part the holy land played in our past and how it helped to shape our future. While in Israel, I will always remember touching the stone where Jesus’ body was laid after dying on the cross. Many people sobbed around me and felt a peace and heaviness as I absorbed the thoughts of what happened there.

Going to Israel, was more than I ever thought it could possibly be. I saw a fortress in a mountain – a monastery that a colleague of mine was named after. The desert, Dead Sea, and drumming circle made us more of a team and I would take the eye burn from the sea again anytime. The food, oh the food, was amazing. I am a cook not a baker and I love to taste new foods. I say new because there is nothing like Israeli hummus in the United States. The cappuccinos, bread, and the spices were out of this world. I order more cappuccinos now than I ever did. Although the US does not make them as well as Israel. I am reminded every time I get one about the time I spent there.

I loved the innovation and how everyone had a purpose and their purpose was a key part of creating a strong society. From our guides that talked about their land with such conviction to the people that lived there and had such purpose, I could tell the citizens of Israel carried themselves with pride. They knew they were part of a bigger picture that made the whole nation thrive.