I am writing to tell you how pleased I have been with the TRY program. My two older daughters have participated in the program. I have been happy to recommend TRY to numerous other young people, many of whom are my former or current students. The educational program on TRY is thoughtful and nuanced. Over the years I have seen that not all Israel programs are equal. You have struck an excellent balance, helping students understand the history of our people and of the State of Israel, while at the same time portraying the current situation as a complex one with no simple solutions. Some programs still insist in teaching the simplified “Exodus” version of Israeli history. While I understand and appreciate the desire to simplify the complex issues that Israel faces, I believe that ultimately that approach does not help strengthen either Israel or Judaism in the Diaspora. Thank you for your commitment to intellectual integrity and to complexity. The teens I have known who have been on your program have all left with a strong commitment to and love of Israel, while at the same time appreciating the complexities of life in Israel. In addition, the religious component on TRY has been a wonderful piece of the Israel experience. Being in Jerusalem, observing Jewish rituals, and fully immersing themselves in Jewish life were all important parts of my students’ and my children’s Israel experience. Thank you for the wonderful work that you are doing. Hazak V’ematz. Judaics Teacher, Seattle Jewish Community School/Congregation Beth Shalom
During the last month of TRY, I was given the opportunity to discuss modern Israeli politics with party leaders from each side, to sit in the Knesset while Bibi Netanyahu gave an address to the people of Israel, and to find my own mix-and-matched version of an ideology. I have never in my life been given such a candid view of each perspective and such an up-close look at the source of a major world problem. Over the course of the four months on TRY, I took every advantage possible to further enhance my knowledge of Israel, where I stood politically in Israel, and how I would bring my experiences of talks with leaders from both sides of the Israeli political spectrum back to America. By learning about Israel's past, start to finish, I acquired a clearer perspective on the truths of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and I also left TRY with the motivation to support Israel in debate and discussion. That motivation that I got, back in 2010, has carried me through my junior year of high school, through two summers at American Jewish camps, and hopefully will continue to push me through my senior year of high school with the help of the MZ Teen Program. This internship, this opportunity, is one that would have never been possible without the incredible idea of TRY.
I made new firends who I will keep for a lifetime from all around North America. I feel more connected to Israel because after being here for 4 months I know more than what the history books tell you. TRY was the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life. I felt like such a changed person when i came home and it really helped me learn not only about Israel and Judaism, but also about myself.
I made new friends from all around North America. I feel more connected to Israel because after being here for 4 months I know more than what the history books tell you.