For four years, I waited until the end of January when I would say good bye to my family and friends and travel along with my 62 classmates on a two month journey – one week exploring the horrors of the Holocaust and seven weeks exploring the wonders of the State of Israel. To say I was nervous was an understatement. During the weeks prior to my departure, I expressed concern to my mom that I was unsure if I would be able to emotionally handle seeing where 6 million Jews were killed.
Going to Poland and being able to see the atrocities of the Nazis helped reinforce my passion of being a Jew even more. Although I left Poland with even more questions than when I had arrived, I felt accomplished for being able to show that the Nazis were unable to accomplish their goal. They were unsuccessful in wiping the Jewish people off the face of the planet and it was a liberating feeling being able to “shove it in their faces” that they did not succeed.
The plane ride to Israel was an emotional one. I was still trying to sort through what I was feeling in Poland while getting ready and excited to land in Israel. The journey I took throughout my week in Poland had both a positive and negative effect. Positive since I was able to learn first hand what had happened to 6 million Jews and was able to emotionally handle the experience. Negative since I witnessed the grave of 6 million Jews first hand. It was an experience and a journey that I will never forget and will continue to persuade others to take on their own because it is so important to never forget what happened to the Jewish people.