Thank you to the Jewish Federation of Cleveland for sharing this alum testimonial from their partnership trip with Israel Outdoors!
My dad is Jewish and my mom is Catholic. I went to Catholic school from prekindergarten through 12th grade. We hardly ever went to synagogue growing up.
However, I started attending Shabbat services with my dad during high school and began to feel an extra sense of fulfillment. I went to John Carroll University in University Heights for college. Hillel was just starting on campus and I got involved in several Jewish activities. That’s also when I was introduced to the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and was connected with the Young Leadership Division.
Then came the game-changer: I decided to go on the Federation’s Cleveland community Birthright trip to Israel with YLD. Stepping off the plane in Tel Aviv, I could feel this was going to be my moment in further discovering my Judaism.
When our 10 days were over, I did not want to leave Israel. Returning home to Cleveland, I was so inspired by this trip, I knew I wanted to make Judaism and the Federation a bigger part of my life. I was accepted to the YLD board, which gave me a voice in the decisions affecting the future of Jewish Cleveland. I also became active with YLD’s leadership program, LEADS (Leadership Education Development Series), which has strengthened my professional development skills and allowed me to grow as a business owner.
I continue to learn about my Judaism, and grow as a person because of my experience in Israel. The Federation has given me so much, but most importantly Federation has given me a sense of who I am as a Jew.
Registration is open for the Cleveland community summer Birthright trip.
For more information, contact Matt Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org