Israeli Teens from Partnership Region Visit Austin
A group of 7 Israelis, including 6 teens and their chaperone, visited Austin last month from Shalom Austin’s Partnership2Gether region of Western Galilee.
“We were welcomed at the airport with big signs, singing, dances and smiles. Some celebration!” said Gil Klempert, Education & Academia Coordinator of Partnership2Gether Western Galilee.
“In the campus, we were greeted with welcome bags filled with love from Austin. We immediately felt like we entered one big family, where everyone is smiling and express sincere interest in who we are and our mission in Austin. Like a communal Kibbutz, where everyone knows each other.”
The delegation then got to know their host families, who they say quickly felt like family.
The next morning, they presented facts about Israel to the Shalom Austin board and visited the schools on the Dell Jewish Community Campus. At the Austin Jewish Academy’s end of the year fair, students spoke to the group in Hebrew about their school work.
Friday night, everyone enjoyed a Shabbat dinner with the host families, and spent the weekend together seeing the sights in Austin. On Saturday night, the delegation attended a BBYO event, where the Israeli teens met teens in Austin.
“We all enjoyed being with Austin Jewish youth, with whom we bonded and already invited to stay with us in Israel next year!” Klempert said. “We taught them current Israeli music and dance moves, and discovered mutual interests, yet with some differences.”
On Sunday morning, some of the delegation had the opportunity to go with their host brother or sister to their Sunday school, and take an active role in the school's lessons and activities.
“It was a unique experience for us, and a meaningful one.”
Klempert says it was a wonderful opportunity for everyone involved.
Austin left a very good impression on us, and we are looking forward to visiting this vibrant and interesting city again soon!”