The Tale of Hollywood and Israel
Cameron Harp was a recent participant on our LA Way Entertainment trip this past December. Cameron, a Mission Viejo, California native, went to California State University where she majored in Communications- Broadcast Journalism. Cameron was told about the Entertainment trip from a friend who went the previous season, and knowing that it was her last chance to go on a Birthright Israel trip, Cameron jumped on the opportunity!
Read what she has to say about her incredible 10 days on our Birthright Israel LA Way Entertainment trip!
As 39 Americans landed at Ben Gurion Airport, we were strangers. Most of us were in a strange country we had only heard about in Hebrew school or in the news; others were returning to a country they visited as children. However, the one thing we did have in common was we were in Israel on Israel Expert's LA Way Entertainment trip and were excited to see and hear all about the entertainment industry in Israel!
We were greeted as we exited the airport by our nine Israelis, not knowing they would soon become the most important part of our Birthright trip with Israel Experts . On our first bus ride, we headed to a Kibbutz in northern Israel. We introduced ourselves to our neighbors after a long and wonderful drive.
As we pulled into the Kibbutz, we sprang from the bus for dinner and our first icebreaker ("The Wind Blows To..."). We eagerly tried to learn names, faces and occupations. Most of which didn't stick after a long day of travel...
As the days and nights went on we ventured through Golan Heights, Zefat, Haifa, Jerusalem, Keshet Studios, Sderot and Tel Aviv. We started to truly get to know one another and form bonds. Our Israelis taught us about the music they love and helped us order falafel, shawarma and more falafel inside shuks or restaurants. We began to ask them questions about their lives and learned how similar they were, yet how different their reality had been from ours after serving in the IDF. We heard about their realities, and although many of us have friends or family in the military, it became clear that none of us has had the military touch our lives in the same way as our Israeli peers. For them, the IDF has played a central role throughout their entire lives.
By the last days of our trip, the reality of leaving Israel loomed over our heads. We started to hold each other a little closer and treasure our time together. Some of us may never return to this beautiful land, while others may be back before we know it.
Whether we return or not, I believe each of us have taken something from Israel. Whether it's a memory from one of the sights or from the group, this trip created memories to last a lifetime. I am so thankful to Israel Experts for giving me this opportunity to see my homeland. Even though the same 39 people may never be in Israel at the same time again, may we all return and continue to tell our stories. As my Grandfather always said, "Next Year in Israel."