This past summer, I was fortunate to be able to spend 10 weeks in Israel. One of the highlights of my trip was the 6 days I spent in Shoham, Memphis’s sister city. I stayed with two host families, and I helped at the Gan (preschool), assisting in a classroom of 4-5 year olds. The families I stayed with were warm and welcoming, and I felt right at home. I got to practice my Hebrew, and I even learned some new vocabulary from the children! During my stay in Shoham, I had a glimpse into the everyday life of an Israeli family.
My summer started with Birthright and Birthright Extended trips. Then I participated in a program called Summer in Jerusalem for 6 weeks. I interned for an organization that serves children with special needs. Many of the families of these children struggle with food insecurity and poverty in general. As part of the Summer in Jerusalem program, we had classes every night in Tanakh, Jewish Philosophy, Jewish Law, and Talmud. After spending this summer in Israel, I feel an even greater connection to the land and people. My stay in Shoham was a meaningful and unique experience for me, and was something that not many of my peers were able to do. I am so grateful for Memphis Jewish Federation for arranging my host families in Shoham and for helping me to participate in the Birthright programs.
Rebecca Sabin is the daughter of Joanne Levine and Noah Sabin. During Summer 2019, she participated in Summer in Jerusalem, a 6-week work/study program in Israel for college students. Memphis Jewish Federation organized home hospitality for her in Shoham, Memphis’s partnership city in Israel. All Memphians traveling to Israel are invited to visit Shoham. For more information about obtaining home hospitality in Shoham during the week or for Shabbat, please call the Federation office at 767-7100.