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By Lee Sternburg, Trip 4

In July 2015, I had the amazing opportunity to go to Israel with women from the Boston area and JWRP . I had never been, and honestly I really wasn’t sure I was ever going to make it there due to having so many other responsibilities in my life like many of you moms reading this right now. When I headed off it was so incredibly exciting for me! I taught Hebrew school years ago when my own daughters were small, I can recall teaching about the Dead Sea. I would show a map, talk about the salt content, the ability to float effortlessly, and maybe even show a short movie clip. I thought I was doing a good job capturing the beauty and essence. It had been a lifelong dream to go to the Dead Sea. A part of me felt like a fraud talking about how special it was not having been there. That all changed for me last summer.

I couldn’t wait to get there, and the moment did not disappoint. It started with the mud, painting it on as if it were liquid gold. After some ceremonial pictures my sisters and I began the walk into the sea. Dodging large softball sizes of salt and memorized by the breathtaking view, I finally got into the water. The whole week had filled me with such a warm feeling of Judaism, the sea experience was to me like a warm blanket being put on me before bed. It was warm, silky, and felt fantastic! I could have floated there forever! When you have something pictured in your mind and have always wondered if the actual visit would live up to your expectations, I promise you, the Dead Sea did not disappoint.

This past summer my oldest daughter Hannah, now 16 years old, went on a BBYO trip to Israel. I could sense and feel her passion when she shared all of her stories, showed me her pictures, and I could see the happiness in her eyes. If it weren’t for this JWRP experience I had, I would still be wondering how accurate her accounts were, but I know just how special her time was. I know from my own experience.

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