Birthright Israel Magazine Return to Absolutely Israel Site

When In Israel... EAT

Meet One of Our Past Culinary Israel Participants

Alena Alter
Alena Alter Birthright Israel

Alena Alter is a certified chef with an associate degree in Culinary Arts from Schoolcraft College in Detriot, Michigan. As Alena says, "as a chef and as a Jew, my life revolves around food and I want to soak up as much out of life and out of food as I can." If you are a foodie or a professional in the food industry, Israel Expert's Culinary Israel trip may be just the trip for you! 

I went on the Culinary East Coast Birthright trip, it changed the way I thought of Israel and the way I thought of myself.  

I don’t really think of myself as religious, I think of myself as more of a cultural Jew and I fell in love with the culture of Israel.  

I enjoyed seeing the Western Wall and the Old City, I enjoyed tasting the freshest falafel I’d ever had and having my pick of 10 different shawarma places for lunch.  

But what I’ll never forget are the 48 people that I met.  There were 40 eople from the US and 8 from Israel that traveled with is the whole trip, some even staying in a hotel 20 minutes from their home.  I fell in love with these people and fell in love with Israel.  The communal attitude is extremely different than anything that I have ever seen as a US citizen; so carefree and loving.  

This Birthright trip showed me that being Jewish means whatever I want it to mean, its means going to synagogue every Saturday or just fasting on Yom Kippur.  It means whatever you want it to.  I really can’t say much about the trip specifics because I know every trip is different, but if they were half as good as mine, you’ll leave the trip with a new sense of Israel, a hankering for Israeli salad, and most importantly: 48 new family members who couldn’t be happier to have you and one, rather small place, that you’re always welcome to go when you can’t find home.  


Add new comment

Search blog posts