About the prompt: We asked each Peer Ambassador to share with us a pivotal moment in their Jewish journey, what being a Peer Ambassador means to them personally, and what value speaks to them. Stay tuned over the next few months to hear from all of the Peer Ambassadors.
Check out Dylan's blog post below as he shares about his experience going to Israel in 8th grade and how the value of leadership is shaping his Peer Ambassador experience.
A pivotal moment in my Jewish journey was going to Israel with
Ta'am Yisrael (now IsraelNow) in 8th grade. This changed the way that I looked at the Jewish religion as a whole. Going to Israel helped me understand the background of many things that we do in Judaism. After coming back, it took me a bit to understand how much it connected me with Judaism, but it truly did. There were two moments that were especially meaningful to me that still stick with me today. First, when we went to the Western Wall it was beautiful to see how many people it brought together. Everyone at the Wall was there for the same exact reason and it was inspiring to see the mutual respect of people around. The second thing was going to Masada. Just being in a place with such a rich history was very touching.
Being a Peer Ambassador is about getting more people in the area involved with the Jewish community. It is exciting for me to help grow the Jewish community and be a bigger part of it, since I have not been very involved in the past. I am looking forward to making new connections and building on my skills with reaching out to others. What speaks to me the most, though, is the leadership skills I will learn and how the leadership experience will help improve my skills in many areas. This world always has more room for leaders as they are the people that can uplift others in the toughest of times. Throughout this year, I hope to improve my leadership skills and Peer Ambassadors will help me accomplish that.
About the Author: Dylan is a sophomore at Deerfield High School, where he is participating in the Sophomore Exec Board and DECA where he uses his leadership skills. In his free time, he is very involved in cross country, he runs every day. He belongs to Congregation BJBE. He is very excited to be a Peer Ambassador because he wants to get involved with more Jewish activities, while at the same time getting his friends involved as well.