Chloe Sparwath, a NeW Fall 2021 Intern, shares about her experience participating in a trip to Israel with Passages.
Why did you apply for this program?
I traveled to Israel with Passages as a student in the summer of 2019. I applied to be a Passages Fellow to return to Israel to help other students experience the Holy Land like I did.
Israel is a shining beacon of hope in the world. They are one of America’s greatest and most important allies and maintaining a strong relationship with them is of utmost importance to the well-being and security of both nations. On my Passages trip, my group was able to hear from a wide variety of speakers including Palestinian Christians, Palestinian Muslims, Jewish Israelis, and more. We learned about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from each of their different perspectives and were able to see first-hand what life at the Gaza and West Bank borders is like. The people of Israel do not take their freedom for granted. Visiting Israel was life-changing and I cannot wait to return.
What did your days look like during the Fellowship?
Each day was packed from sun-up to sun-down with touring holy sites such as The Church of the Annunciation and the Garden Tomb, various cities and towns in Israel such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and hearing from different speakers such as Dr. Faydra Shapiro from the Israel Center for Jewish Christian Relations. My job was to help facilitate conversations and relationships among the students on my bus and make sure everyone had a good experience.
What was your favorite part?
My favorite part of the trip was attending a Shabbat dinner with an Orthodox Jewish family. They welcomed us into their home with open arms and taught us about their religion and traditions. It was one of the most meaningful cultural experiences of my life.
How did NeW prepare you for this opportunity?
NeW has presented me with multiple leadership opportunities and training that really helped prepare me to be a leader for my bus. I have grown exponentially as a leader since joining NeW.
Any advice to other women seeking internships or Fellowships?
Give your all to everything you are involved in. You are never above working hard at any certain club or position.
For women interested in this program, you can visit www.passagesisrael.org to learn more.