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Students from Gray Academy on P2K program


by Maya Pollock, November 25, 2010

Some events enrich your life beyond any others. Some events remain with us forever and have the capacity to change the course of our expedition. I can honestly say that P2K was this event for me.
Before I went on P2K I was hesitant because I never really liked sleepovers. I always loved to be home with my family and the thought about going away for two weeks scared me. Despite those feelings, I decided to challenge my comfort zone and join the P2K program. To my surprise my experiences in Kiryat Shmona changed all that. When I arrived to the Galil in April, 2010 and saw the mountains, the people, the buildings and the blooming flowers, I knew that I was far from home.
Yet, oddly, when I arrived in Kiryat Shmona I felt like I came back home. It is a very strange feeling that accompanied me throughout the time that I have spent in Kiryat Shmona. The warmth of the people and the wonderful atmosphere made me feel as if I have a second home that I will forever be connected to. I was not scared anymore.
My host families were warm, welcoming and hospitable in a way that is hard to find. They treated me as if I was their own child and made me feel at ease at all times. I am usually a shy person and it takes me a while to feel comfortable with new people. However, my host families made me feel as if I knew them all along. They became my second family in my second home.
During my visit, I developed a better understanding as to the difficulties and challenges that face Israeli children and their families. Some of my new friends were getting ready to go to the army in order to protect their homes, while two of my friends lost their brothers in previous wars. We participated in two Yom Hazikron ceremonies and visited many sites in the Golan in which battles between Israelis and their enemies took place.
It made me better understand the need for my continued support to Israel and its people.
The  P2K program changed my focus in life. The change made me watch the news from Israel more closely. My Hebrew has improved dramatically as I speak to my new friends daily.  I listen to Israeli music and enjoy it like never before, and most of all I want to contribute more and more to this beautiful place, I now call home.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to give back to the Kiryat Shmona community. I volunteered for three weeks in a day camp and worked with grades 1-3 students. Giving back was my goal but let me tell you, I gained more than I could ever give. So I would like to just thank you for the opportunity you gave me.
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.