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Jewish Journal

Thank you.

by Noga Gur-Arieh

April 16, 2014 | 12:34 pm

I’m back.


Last time I was here was the summer of 2011, when I worked as an Israeli delegate at Camp Coleman in Cleveland, Georgia. That summer, I felt proud of the possibility granted me by the Jewish Agency to represent my country abroad, and educate young children and fellow counselors about the real Israel. Moreover, that summer I made a lifelong dream come true when an article I wrote about Gilad Shalit was published in a local Jewish newspaper.


That summer, I learned that as an Israeli, I have the responsibility and honor to tell others what really goes on here, without any anti-Israeli filters the foreign media enjoy using. After I returned home, I was restless. I was looking for a way to keep using my Israeli nativity to make a difference in American public opinion towards Israel. Spending three months in the U.S, answering truly innocent questions such as “why do you kill Palestinian children?” made me comprehend the necessity of an Israeli voice out there.

 

That was when I first encountered Jewish Journal – a home for creative minds of all fields of interests, where all aspects of Israel and Judaism receive a stage for expression. As I saw Israelife come to be, I couldn’t hold my excitement and honor for the chance I’ve been given. Now, two years later, I am still an honored and appreciative 20- something year old Israeli writer. I am now back in the States for the first time since the summer of 2011, and I must admit I feel differently. Not only I am older and wiser, but I am also an Israeli ambassador. Not officially, but in my heart.

 

Looking up in the middle of Times Square can make one feel small and meaningless in our big, globalized world. But not me. This time around I don’t feel small, even here. No one recognizes me, no one shakes my hand in appreciation, but I still feel elevated. I am proud to be publishing three posts a week, sharing with you my thoughts and perspectives about all sides and colors of Israel, while enjoying the best of Israeli creations with you.


As I stand in the middle of Times Square, surrounded by people too many to count, I feel privileged to be granted the opportunity to share all of this with you, for the small chance that I made a difference in your perspective on Israel. From the Big Apple of all places, outside of the convenience of home, I would like to thank you for opening your minds to my ideas. Thank you for reading, supporting, sharing, commenting, agreeing, disagreeing, arguing, laughing, thinking and making a dream come true for me – writing for you.

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