Sunday April 27 - The BBYO National Teen Delegation visited the site of the Plaszow concentration labor camp. After a ceremony at the restored Oswiecem Synagogue, the teens visited the grounds of Auschwitz and Birkenau.
Saturday, April 26 - "I was walking through the streets of Krakow and helping BBYO's survivor, Trudy, walk with our group. She thanked me for helping her and said 'I'm grateful to have you all here as my guardian angels.' It was so sweet and so amazing but I told her that she is our guardian angel. We are so lucky to have her here; Trudy is honestly an incredible person! I love her so much already and can't wait to continue this journey with her." - Molly Kazan, Wisconsin
Thursday, April 24 - More than 130 teens making up BBYO's National Teen Delegation to the March of the Living are on their way to Poland this evening. The teens have high expectations for their upcoming journey.
“I’ve known people who have gone on March of the Living in the past, and have heard it is really a life-changing experience," Danny Rosenberg, a senior from Kansas City, Missouri, said. "I can’t wait to share my own experience with my friends and family once I get back!"
When I was young I found out that my grandmother was Jewish, but I didn't know how to be Jewish. My parents do not practice Judaism. When I was little I started to notice symbols that were Jewish like the hamsa, Star of David, and menorah. I was always asking questions about Judaism, but my mother did not know the answers.
Today, we visited arguably the two most emotionally and physically draining sites in all of Israel, covering everything from the horrific events of the Holocaust to the heroic tales of Michael Levin... Shadowing the day in a somber mist.
Yesterday evening, over 350 teens on BBYO Passport experiences in Israel convened to celebrate their being together in the Jewish Homeland this summer. True to form, the event drew together an international community of Jewish teens from the USA, Canada, Europe and Latin America. Our ILSI participants, Ryan Dishell and Maya Guthman, gave the following speech at the event, and we wanted to share it with everyone who wasn't there.
It's the end of a long, hot, sunny day here in Israel on ILSI 2013. The madrichim are going around to do room checks as we all get ready to rest up for our long day tomorrow- but none of that really matters because today was an amazing day.