As the Jewish people welcomed Hannukah, the Festival of Lights, into their homes, 60 Jewish American high school lacrosse players chose to leave the comfort of their homes on a trip that they may never forget. They flew to Israel where they toured the country, mentored young Israeli children in fringe communities, and played alongside other Israeli youth lacrosse players. They then continued on to Belgrade, Serbia where they were given the chance to compete as Team Israel in a few international friendlies. I was lucky enough to have a few of them reflect on one or more of their experiences.
Name: Nick Lipsher
Hometown: Manhattan, New York
My favorite experience of the Israel Lacrosse Winter Service Trip was the opportunity given to me to tour a country, completely new to me, in a different and more cultural way than most.
I was able to help teach kids from all around the country about a sport that I love and was able to pass my knowledge down to them so they could end up loving the game as much as I do.
I think that by touring the country almost through the lens of the children that live there, it offers a different perspective about all the different types of people who live in the country. I was able to see the true beauty of Israel and the truth about all the people. It showed me that there is more to a country than just the big cities, big hotels, and big tourist attractions.
By being put in an uncomfortable situation, which is stepping out of my comfort zone, I was also really able to grow as a person and I learned more about myself than I have ever before.
Finally, the best part of the whole trip is the connections that I made with all the different kids around Israel. Even though there were struggles throughout, whether it was the fact that they spoke a completely different language than I did, or just that they are little kids and are harder to control and teach did not mean that I could not put my self out there as a person and friend trying to teach them something I love.
The friendships I have made on this trip from the kids of Israel to all the other Americans and one Canadian on the trip are friendships and memories that I will never forget and will always carry with me throughout life. This trip helped me discover more just by all the down to earth experiences that I had.