We always remember our ‘firsts.’ Our first kiss, our first flight abroad, or our first time driving a car with a license. Well, this week marks my first time helping lead our summer program, Israel on Demand. Just as with other first time experiences, I was nervous and anxious. I was trying to brace myself for every possible situation. What if the students don’t like me? What if they ask me a question I can’t answer? What if they decide that this whole program is lame and I can’t find a way to inspire them? In spite of my fears, I was blown out of the water. I realized that the students did not sign up because someone forced them to or because they are receiving extra credit. They came to our program because they genuinely care about Israel and are eager to learn new skills and information. Each participant had their own perspectives and unique strengths. And, even though I was leading sessions and answering questions, I learned just as much from the participants themselves.
Despite all the complexities, challenges, and frustrations which come with advocating for Israel, these students have an incredible passion and dedication to our shared cause. After three-and-a-half days, I left the conference feeling inspired, energized, and committed to the work that I do at The David Project. Though this was just one of the many seminars I hope to be a part of, Israel on Demand 2012 will always be my memorable and exceptional first!