A Coordinator's Snapchat: First Glimpses of Israel Uncovered 2015-2016

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By Erika Wohl, Senior Campus Coordinator, Bay Area schools. Snapchat has taken the world by storm, and like many young adults our campus team loves to use the application to record our experiences. While snapchats usually disappear, we wanted to grab a few to share with the rest of you so you can see Israel Uncovered: Campus Leaders Mission 2015-2016. Campus Coordinator Erika Wohl has been sending snapchat messages and images back from Bus 1 to our headquarters in Boston, and we want to share them with all of you! Erika even took some time to introduce herself and her experience with Israel!

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1. What is your favorite Israeli music? Do you have any great recommendations?!
There is so much great Israeli music out there! I can't wait to share all of my favorites on our bus. I'm a big fan of the beautiful classics like "Yerushalim Shel Zahav" (Jerusalem of Gold) by Shuli Natan (and written by Naomi Shemer). The music is so inspired and the beauty of Israel really shines through it.
Everything by Idan Raichel is AMAZING. I love that he uses traditional Jewish texts as springboards for inspiration, but he integrates a diversity of elements into his music, drawing on Ethiopian and Arab music for example. I particularly love the song "Bo'i." Lastly, I'll always love Hadag Nachash. They were my first introduction to Israeli hip-hop and contemporary music on my 8th grade trip to Israel. Their song "Shirat HaSticker" is particularly cool-- all of the lyrics are made up of bumper stickers seen around Israel, and therefore has some pretty strong political commentaries integrated into it.

2. What is your favorite food?
I can't wait to bring everyone to Marzipan in the Jerusalem Shuk for their epic and gooey ruggelah!

3. Do you have a favorite specific site in Israel?
There are a lot of particularly meaningful sites in Israel for me, but a top favorite for me is a small city in the north called Tzfat. It's an ancient spiritual city, with a lot of inspired artists. It's absolutely beautiful.

4. Do you have any funny stories from your first trip to Israel?
My first trip to Israel was in 8th grade with my school. After 9 years of Jewish day school together, the trip served as a capstone for all of my experiences with my peers, teachers, and my Jewish day school education. There is nothing better than traveling, particularly in Israel, with 40 of your best friends. We laughed, sang, prayed, and cried together---  it was a perfect end to my middle school experience.

5. What was the most memorable moment of Israel Uncovered last year?
I have so many amazing experiences to share from last year's Israel Uncovered trip--- don't make me choose just one to share!! I'll say that the night of new years last year was one of the highlights for the trip for me. First off, it was a big bonding night for all of us as a group; it was fun to see our whole bus coming together, singing and dancing as a family. But the part that was striking and memorable for me was that I spent the first few hours of 2015 having the most meaningful conversations with all of the students-- we were talking about politics, religion, family in this incredibly well-rounded and nuanced way until 3am in the morning. I think it set the tone for us for the rest of the trip.

6. What are you excited for most for this year?!
I am excited to go through this experience with all of my students. I can't wait to see what they are connecting to and what they are getting out of the program, and I can't wait to learn and grow alongside them.


Erika Wohl is a senior campus coordinator. A graduate of Skidmore College, Erika works with our schools in the Bay Area, and will be staffing Bus 1 and Bus 5 of Israel Uncovered: Campus Leaders Mission 2015-2016. This is Erika's second year staffing Israel Uncovered, having staffed Bus 1 of Israel Uncovered: Campus Leaders Mission 2014-2015.