By Miranda David, Boston University
“Mishpacha” is the Hebrew word for family.
Family is the one world that truly embodies my Israel experience. What blows my mind is that I met everyone, for the first time, the day we all walked into JFK airport. It feels as if I met everyone years ago and we have been friends and family ever since. Not only did I become close with my Boston University “bus”, but we welcomed our tour guide, Shira, into our Mishpacha. On campus I am very involved in sports and school organizations, but when asked what my favorite role is, I don’t say president or public relations chair, I say teammate, daughter, and big sister. I love being part of a family. To me, family means feeling secure and having people that love you and support you always.
My favorite memories are the things that we were able to enjoy together. I loved the huge Shabbat dinners, our bus rides, our readings at the Mount of the Beatitudes, playing in the dead Sea, and going out together at night. I especially loved the idea of a Shabbat dinner because eating food is very social. Coming from a family at home where we used to eat together and hang out together, I missed that sense of family at BU. The first Shabbat dinner that we experienced was incredible. I remember sitting down with people from BU and laughing the entire time. I am grateful for the time spent at the dinner table because I was able to make connections, and as a result, form our own community that enhanced our experience in Israel together. I am glad that during Shabbat dinner, no electronics are allowed and that we all talked to each other. I loved how our host family opened up their home to us for Shabbat, because it shows how loving and family-oriented Israel is.
All I can say is thank you.
Finally, no family is complete without a mother. Shira, our tour guide, was the mother of the group and off the bat she invited us to join her Mishpacha. Shira was full of life, generosity, and knowledge and it was an honor to get to know her. She informed us about her life in Israel, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and significant details about all the places that we visited. Shira made sure that we were all safe and comfortable throughout our trip with The David Project.
Thank you to The David’s Project for giving me the opportunity to experience a new culture and fall in love with a new country.