I recently returned from UD Hillel’s Alternative Spring Break trip to Argentina. It was a really interesting experience for me. I loved the trip for a multitude of reasons, but the two main ones are of course, the community service aspect, and the new Jewish experiences.
This experience was very interesting for me. I am from Long Island, where I have never felt alone in being Jewish. I would say that almost 50 percent of my high school was Jewish, so I was always very comfortable. I was surprised when I came to college, and found that not as many people as I am used to shared my religion. I was so happy to find this program, because it not only helped me to find a new group of friends who are similar to me, but it also helped me fulfill a lifelong goal on my bucket list: Go on a service trip to another country!
I felt like I learned a lot on this trip too. Our tour guide Wally, was very knowledgeable, and loved to share stories and fun facts with us. I learned a ton from him. I think my favorite was when he told us that the Shabbat wine is meant to represent happiness, and we are supposed to fill it until it overflows, representing ourselves overflowing with happiness. I also really enjoyed the Shabbat service at the Argentinian synagogue. I found it fascinating to see how a service in another country functions. I liked the Argentinian Shabbat service; I felt that it was far more interactive, and so it was interesting to see the way a service runs over there. I also find it fascinating every time I go to a new temple, and though the tune may change, the prayers are always the same.
All in all, I feel that this trip enriched my Jewish identity, by reminding me how important my faith is, and proving the reassuring, and classic sleep away camp song correct that “Wherever you go, there’s always someone Jewish.”
Nina Freiberger is a sophomore studying psychology and communication at the University of Delaware. She is from Long Island, New York. Nina is the secretary of SCPAB, and a sister of Gamma Sigma Sigma community service sorority.