San Diego Birthright Bus - Report from Shaar Ha’Negev

Story by Birthright Participant and Motiv Leader - Garrett

Going on Birthright was something that I have been contemplating partaking in ever since I first heard about it my freshmen year of college, but I always found reasons not to do it. It was not until I began working at the Jewish Community Center and connecting with the local San Diego Jewish community that I realized how important it was for me to move forward with this opportunity!


Going on Birthright would not have been possible without Janese Cassel’s unwavering determination to get me to go on “her” trip and also for the support I received from the organization I work for, Motiv San Diego. The entire team at Motiv did not even think twice when telling me that I needed to do this trip. I believe this journey actually embolden my understanding of one of the core concepts that guides our organization, Tikkun Olam.


Before Birthright, I had more of a theoretical understanding of this principle, but being in Israel gave me a first person experience with the physical nature of Tikkun Olam. I had so many conversations with Israeli’s about what this meant to them and experienced so many stories about the amazing things being done in the country with the intentions of repairing our world. The Israeli's stories were all amplified by the fact that some of them lived in San Diego's sister city of Shaar Hanegev. This truly brought to home the connection that San Diego shares with Israel through this partnership. It is humbling to realize that miles between people mean nothing when connected through a common bond. 

I really did not expect this aspect of the trip and can happily say that it has emboldened my dedication to Tikkun Olam as well as our cities partnership/support of Israel. I am excited to take what I learned in Israel and spread the idea of working to repair the world to as many San Diego teens as possible through Motiv 


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