Testimonials from Galilee Fellowship Participants
“Hiking, volunteering, and discussing Jewish ideals lays the foundation for one in this program to find their own connection to Judaism, whether it be religiously or spiritually. I may never be a super observant Jew, but I will forever be a spiritual one, thanks to the experiences on this program. Amazing people make for amazing experiences. I’m really glad Livnot attracts those people.” A.S., Reunion, FL
“The desert experience was the greatest hike of my trip, beyond description and comprehension. Shabbat was so cool…the songs and sense of community meant so much to me. All of the Livnot staff were amazing. Each one contributed a different energy that all combined to make an amazing whole! I couldn’t imagine a better, more kind and loving, group of people.” A.L., Los Angeles, CA
“Livnot has taught me that Judaism doesn’t only happen in synagogue. It’s intertwined in everything. In washing dishes, jumping off cliffs, hiking through waterfalls, or even watching a sunset.” L.E., Aurora, Canada
“The fact that everyone at Livnot is open-minded and searching for something bigger than themselves is really special in terms of building a warm and free community. I didn’t feel pressured to observe any level of Judaism, but only encouraged to question your spirituality and never stop searching. It’s a really special place which fosters creative thinking and continuous curiosity. I feel like the program wants to wake people up from their secular zombie-like state.” Z.B., Brooklyn, NY
“Thank you for making this opportunity a reality. After seeing the country from top to bottom, as a tourist on Birthright, I welcomed the chance to settle down and become part of a community. I got a chance to reflect and connect in my own way to my Judaism. I felt comfortable to explore, question, and most importantly understand that the process and not the end point is where the focus lies. Thank you!” D.R., Scottsdale, AZ
“The most significant message for me in this program is that Judaism can be a way of life and can inspire love, joy, amazement and fulfillment…the unity of the Jewish people is so sensational. I’ve never had so much fun singing in my whole life. Shabbat is beyond words and the Havdallah we had in the ruins was so beautiful. This is the strongest I’ve ever identified with Judaism; a spark has been lit in me to live my life in alignment with Judaism and thus make the world a better place.” R.E., East Lyme, CT
“Every staff member was so warm, welcoming and made me feel important and involved. Also, everyone was so knowledgeable. Livnot definitely takes the Israel experience a step further.” N.S., Boca Raton, FL
“I am more confident in the directions I want my life to go; as in, I am confident I need to keep learning and questioning. I think with what I have learned in the past four weeks, I will be better equipped to bring parts of my Israel and Judaism home.” M.F., Ambler, PA
“I enjoyed the first week’s variety of community service at the Ethiopian center and retirement home. I feel an intense connection to the city of Tzfat that I’ll never forget. In my lifetime, this has been the premier Judaism experience in terms of how I’ll raise my children and continue my relationship with Israel. I can’t wait to come back. I guarantee I can bring in 10 new participants from Ohio Jewish communities. This is not goodbye!” J.R., Akron, OH
“Where Birthright focused on the tourist aspect of Israel, Livnot focused on the community and active involvement. I didn’t really consider myself Jewish before this trip and now I’ve had a bar mitzvah and seen this wonderful sense of community and compassion that I had no idea was the main aspect of Judaism. I emerge from this program a new man, a Jewish man…David Ori.” J.N., Gainesville, FL
“Thank you so much for helping me find hope again. Hope to find happiness and meaning in life, hope to stay close to G-d and to the community, and hope to help people and effect everyone in a positive way. I feel loved, ironically, by a group of people who I’ve only known for four weeks. Thank you for broadening my definition of Judaism and what it truly means to be a Jew. Thanks for waking me up to all the beautiful possibilities that life holds and that are waiting to be discovered. Mamash. Thank you for giving me a spark of light in the darkness.” G.K., Fairlawn, NJ
“Thank you very much for having this amazing program. It has changed me forever. This experience was so much better than birthright.” D.B., Cambridge, MA
“It is truly an extremely unique program and an experience I will not forget. I am so grateful I had an opportunity to be part of this program, looking back at how many things I’ve done I can’t believe I’ve been here only a month, but at the same time I feel as if I’ve been here for so much longer. I had no idea what to expect, but I’ve definitely grown as a person and Jew which is what I wanted coming into this program.” R.M., Danbury, CT
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to identify with my Judaism, my culture, and Israel.” D.F., Winnipeg, Canada
“The Livnot Galilee Fellowship has much to offer. I came here looking to explore a part of Israel I was unfamiliar with and give back at the same time. But what I left with was so much more- An understanding that Judaism is what you make of it, a renewed passion to get involved at home, in my own community. Livnot has given me tools to take home what I’ve learned from nature, texts, and people and make it a reality, not just a memory. This trip was an essential part of my Israel experience and my Jewish heritage.” J.R., Baltimore, MD
“Before Livnot I barely considered myself Jewish, and in actuality, I was ashamed of my own heritage, tradition, and homeland. I was searching for a community to call my own. I was lost in the traditions of Tibet and India, lost in the ways of the North Americans, and searching for meaning in every tradition I could find but my own. Livnot revealed to me the tremendous treasure chest that had been sitting in my backyard all along. When I opened this treasure chest, I discovered my own people; I discovered that my own heritage has everything that these other traditions have, and much more. Like pieces of gold shining into my eyes, I saw that we, the Jewish people, have our own stories, history and myths: we have our own songs, instruments, and melodies. I danced the dance of my own ancestors, I heard the ancient language that had been hiding deep within my heart, and above all, for me, I discovered the glorious treasure of my own people’s way to enrich the heart, mind, and soul with spiritual wisdom.” A.S., Nevada City, CA
Testimonials from Northern Exposure Participants
“I feel that the time I spent here really allowed me to reconnect to the land and to a new take in my personal growth. Because the program was flexible enough to give each person just enough space and just enough bounding time with each other as well as the environment it had made me a bit more seasoned. now i know i can be anywhere and know that I’m connected to the Jewish people.” J.S.
“It was interesting to see all the different backgrounds that people come from. Bursts all preconceived notions I had. I loved going out and having conversations with the locals. The best part was living with strangers that quickly turned to close friends. Also facing challenges and opening my mind to new views on the world. I got introduced to new aspects of Judaism that I was unaware of and it has inspired me to reflect upon myself and find the true me.” B.H.
“The program was even better than I expected;very open to discussion without judgement. It has made me question how I will bring Judaism into my life back in California and connected me to explore the land more in Israel.” S.K.
“Everything was awesome. Tzfat is an amazing city. The staff is always open to questions, and they take the time to answer or look up anything you want to know. The water hikes were phenomenal and the community service makes you feel so good. You get to learn to so much, living and working with the same group of people–a much smaller group than Birthright–only about 15 to 20 people, which is great because you become so close with these people and make amazing friends. I’m so happy that I joined Livnot. It’s worth every single moment. I was a little scared to try something new, but it was such a great experience.” E.E.
“Livnot was the perfect ending to my Israel adventures. It really helped set the tone for the rest of the year and the rest of my life.” R.C.