Y2I Teen Testimonials


Although the activities were fun, my favorite part of this trip was connecting with other Jewish teens from my community and my new Israeli friends. I feel that I have made new connections with people that will last a lifetime.  David Carey, Marblehead

Just wow. That’s the only word I can think of. There’s really no way you can describe this trip in one word. It really was “a trip of a lifetime”. Rachel Kidd-Levy, Swampscott

The trip taught me the importance of having Jewish pride and staying Jewish.  I feel that Y2I will be more than just a trip to me. I now have a lot of new friends and I feel more connected to the Jewish community because of Y2I. After the trip, I realized that Judaism is more than just my religion. I feel Judaism is an important part of my family culture, and I am proud to say that I am a Jew. Israel to me is a Jewish family united in one main homeland. After meeting and talking to some Israeli teens, I realize that we are all one big family. It does not make a difference where we live, because we are all Jewish teens.  Matt Batsinelas, Peabody

This trip meant a lot to me in many ways. Before I went to Israel, I didn’t have a strong Jewish identity. Now I realize how being Jewish is special and Judaism is an incredible religion. Y2I was the trip of lifetime and it really helped me understand my Jewish identity.  Brett Bial, Marblehead

After completing the trip I realize that my experience exceeded my expectations greatly. I fell in love with the land, the culture, and the history.  I had a new concept of what home really was and I decided that Israel was my home. It’s a place I feel comfortable and safe in. It’s a place I can be myself in.     Haley Blumenkrantz, Peabody

What was not obvious at first was how much this trip would both give me an amazing experience in Israel and introduce me to a new world of cool, interesting people, most of whom I would have never met otherwise.  Ari Carlat, Newburyport

Traveling to Israel with Y2I was a life changing experience. As I saw the beautiful landscapes of Israel, met the wonderful people, and learned about the history, I truly realized how lucky I am to be a part of the Jewish faith.  Hannah Cohen, Marblehead

My trip on Y2I was incredible to say the least. Before departing for Israel, I felt negatively about the whole experience, but after touching down in Israel, I realized this is a trip of a lifetime. After bonding on that 10-hour plane ride, I was excited and eager to see what the trip had in store. Going to Israel made me feel more connected to Judaism and made me feel proud to be Jewish. This trip was something I will never forget.   Lilly Evans, Marblehead

Since I did not know anyone on the trip it made me branch out and talk to new people. It was great because I met a great group of kids. I made some good friends that I would have never expected. Y2I allowed me to connect with the Jewish community all around the North Shore. Overall I had a fantastic time in Israel with the members of the Y2I 2013 trip!   Jon Garston, Boxford

The best part of the trip though were the friends that I made from all over the world.   We met Jews from different states, Israel, France, England, China, Ethiopia, South Africa, and all over the world that were our age. I was amazed how similar we all are.  It made the world seen smaller and more friendly. Some of the kids on the trip became my best friends and I loved the whole trip.   Adam Green, Boxford

For me, Y2I is community. It allowed me to realize that there are so many amazing Jewish teens on the North Shore! I am excited to continue connecting with these new friends that I have made locally.   Andrew Jacobson, Swampscott

In Israel, I made thousands of beautiful memories that will continue to impact me for as long as I live. From sleeping in Bedouin tents, talking late into the night, building friendships with the Israelis to zip-lining down a cliff to crawling through a tunnel with water half way up my legs. I experienced so many things that I could never do in any other place, on any other trip, with any other people. Y2I is easily the most amazing experience in my life so far. Kyra Jones, Marblehead

Y2I has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. The impact it has had on my life is almost unreal. Y2I has changed my entire life and has made me change my perspective on how I live my life. I now take so much pride in being who I truly am and how proud I am to be Jewish.  Trevor Brown, Georgetown

Y2I was an amazing experience that not only gave me friends and was a lot of fun, but also gave me a whole new view on my Jewish faith.  Seeing all the different people from places all around the world dancing and singing together at the Wall made me feel like part of a family.  Nicole Davis, Middleton

Y2I means to me so much more than I can process. I made 93 new friends, with whom I already shared a bond. I discovered the truth behind what Israel is and what it means to me. I found a new sense of pride in being Jewish. And I found another home. All of this combined has led to Y2I’s impact on my life. Now I know who I am as a Jew and to me that’s remarkable.   Mike Kuznetsov, Marblehead

I had a great experience going on this year’s Youth to Israel trip. This trip allowed me to make close connections with other Jewish teens on the North Shore all while learning the background of my Jewish heritage. The friendships made on our 12-day journey are going to last for years (if not more). Meeting up with Israeli teens of our age helped me understand how similar we are even if we are halfway around the world from each other.   Harry Copeland, Swampscott

I can truly say Y2I has been an eye-opener, a friend-maker, and a life-changer. I feel more deeply connected to Judaism, I feel more Jewish after traveling home. Y2I brought me to a foreign country that soon became my second home.  There is no place like Israel; a lot can happen in twelve days.   Rikki Rooklin, Swampscott