Shoshanah Kaplowitz: My Teen Israel Experience

Shoshanah with Reyut Wasserstein and Eliana Waghalter

By Shoshanah Kaplowitz

Shoshanah Kaplowitz, daughter of Drs. Rebekah and Mark Kaplowitz, is a junior at the Goldie Margolin School for Girls. Memphis Jewish Federation’s Lemsky Endowment Fund provided her with a Teen Israel Experience grant to offset the costs of her Lindenbaum Lamdeni program in Israel. All rising juniors and seniors are eligible for grants of up to $3,000 to attend a recognized teen summer or semester program in Israel. Teen Israel Experience applications for Summer 2023 are open. Click here to learn more.

This past summer I was a part of the Lindenbaum Lamdeni program. I spent the summer learning Torah and other Jewish topics in Israel but was also able to experience them in real time, by going to the places where they happened. I visited Shiloh to see where the Mishkan (Tabernacle) stood, and to the place on the Jordan river where B’nai Yisrael (the Jewish people) crossed into Israel for the first time.

I did many fun and exciting things in Israel including going white water rafting and on scavenger hunts. We explored Jerusalem, by going to the Kotel multiple times, spending time in the Old City, and by just simply walking around going to cafes and malls. We went across Israel and spent a weekend in the North at a small kibbutz, and spent time in Efrat, south of Jerusalem. I had so much fun seeing small parts of Israeli society in different places in Israel.

The classes on this program were all amazing and I learned so much from the teachers and Rabbis who taught. Every class was super interesting and informative and changed the way I thought about different Jewish topics. The classes ranged from the true meaning of the Jewish holidays to a Gemara (Talmud) class where we finished the last chapter of Mesechet (Tractate) Ta’anit, and classes about modern Israeli society and government.

The best part of the Lamdeni program was that it was very small and close knit, and I was able to be friends with everyone there. The people who went on the program truly made the program what it was and made every day great. I am still in contact with the friends I made on this program, and they are friends that will last a lifetime. The people who went all had such a love for learning that you could feel all the time, and having access to the Lindenbaum Beit Midrash (Study Hall) meant you could see people learning in there at all hours of the day, and even night. I cherish my many memories of being on this program, and the friends I made there. Thank you to Memphis Jewish Federation’s Lemsky Endowment Fund for helping to make my Lindenbaum Lamdeni Israel trip possible.

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