Blog  The Trip of a Lifetime

The Trip of a Lifetime

Richie and Amy Solomon visited their daughter Jenna as part of the Spring 2016 Parents’ Pilgrimage. They recently answered some of our questions about their trip and Jenna’s experiences on EIE.

QSolomon Family Learning: What was it like to visit Israel?

A: This was Amy’s first visit since 1982 and my first visit ever. It really did feel like coming home. I’ve always read about Eretz Yisrael in Temple, but it didn’t mean much to me. Now I have a connection on many levels. I grew up in New York, so my Jewish identity has been pretty strong, but coming to the Jewish Mothership means so much more. Amy has family here so her connection has been constant if distant. Being here with Jenna brought it all full circle.

Q: What was it like going on a tiyul (trip) with EIE?

A: The intersection of learning some of what the students learn and being a part of the class with Jenna is a beautiful thing. Learning in the classroom, at the Israel Museum, and at the very historical sites we studied in class made history come alive in a way I have never experienced before. Participating this way, with our new EIE parental friends, made the entire experience magical.

Solomon Family Israel MuseumQ: How has the program changed Jenna’s independence?

A: Jenna has always been independent, but we love watching her grow as a leader and in self-confidence. On her 2nd day here, she told us, “Now I’m the person I always wanted to be.” At home, she has a full class load, water polo, two jobs, NFTY, student government, and a busy social life. EIE is still teaching her time management skills.

Q: What were your favorite parts of the Parents’ Pilgrimage?

A: We felt as if we had our own pilgrimage with a whole new set of friends we met at the airport and at Tzuba. As much as we loved spending time with the kids, we thoroughly enjoyed our time with just the parents. Making new connections, learning of our similar backgrounds and experiences, feeling like high schoolers again, and planning to stay in touch. Some of us will be at parents’ weekend at Camp Newman this summer. We are looking forward to a reunion and strengthening the bonds we have created in Israel.