By Zoe Reda, Campus Leader, CUNY Baruch College I was informed about the David Project and Israel Uncovered: Campus Leaders Mission by one of my classmates. She was an intern and told me about a free trip to Israel for non-Jewish students. One evening, on a whim, I filled out the application not realizing the potential impact Israel could have on me. I had no true expectations or excitement about the trip because it just seemed like a far off fantasy, one that I rarely thought about in my busy student life at Baruch College. But when I got the opportunity to do an interview with a representative from the David Project, I realized how much this trip would help me further grow through the lens of such a diverse country.
Growing up going to a Catholic school, I had the opportunity of attending a Jewish summer camp from my kindergarten through high school years. I attended all summer long in a remote upstate New York location and learned about the Jewish faith, ate kosher, and observed Shabbat each weekend. I lived with other campers that had families based in Israel, anxiously waiting to take their annual end of the summer trip abroad. I knew about as much as a young Catholic girl would know about another religion, yet yearned to know more. Throughout high school, however, I didn’t pursue my passion of learning about another faith, another country, another way of life.
With the opportunity that Israel Uncovered: Campus Leaders Mission 2015-2016 grants me, I want to learn about Israel and myself. I want to be inspired by the beauty and rich culture of Israel. I want to use that inspiration to bring back to my New York campus to educate my fellow pupils. At my campus, the overall diversity is rich, but the knowledge about cultures other than one’s own is lacking; I hope to change that through the knowledge and experiences I will gain on this trip. Whether I am experiencing the modern hub of Tel Aviv or laying in the Dead Sea soaking in the natural beauty of the coast, I am ready to learn about the many sides of Israel. I am so excited to learn about the global impact that Israel has on the rest of the world. Ultimately, I want this trip to help both me and Israel become catalysts of change.
Zoe Reda is a Sophomore at CUNY Baruch College, where she is studying Digital Communications and Culture. She currently serves as the Intern Experience Manager for AIESEC New York, a student-managed, non-profit organization and prominent business community on campus that aims to source and acquire professional opportunities both in the United States and abroad. Reda will represent this community and CUNY Baruch on Israel Uncovered: Campus Leaders Mission 2015-2016.