Although growing up I would commonly say how much I hated Northbrook and school, etc., it truly does feel like home. There is obviously a level of comfort there- it is where the house that I grew up in is, all the stores I frequented as a child and still do, my friends houses- all of these spaces how huge memories in my heart. Therefore Northbrook will always be my home and a place of comfort and happiness. Also, since I have left my hometown to go on to college, I have gained such an appreciation for how thankful I was and am to come from such a tremendous place.
I consider Champaign home because it has been nothing short of that quintessential, sweet little college town I pictured. I have made my ‘home away from home’ life there through organizations I am involved in such as Hillel and AEPhi, the people I have met and cannot believe I haven’t known all of my life, and professors I am proud to say I have learned and grown from thus far. It is a place of happiness and positive memories and growth, and therefore I would also consider it to be my home.
Lastly, Israel as a country is my home. When I moved there for a gap year last year I was scared out of my mind to be in a foreign place unknown to me, did not know what to expect in any sense of the word. Israel opened up its doors to me with love, kindness, and the most embracing open arms. I met my very best friend, had my first love, and got know and learn from people that I never have before. Living in such an amazing country opened up my eyes, getting me out of the ‘bubble’ that I grew up in. It also allowed me to really get my priorities straight, something that, comparing the countries I see America lacking in many ways compared to Israel. The Holy Land truly became that to me very quickly, it truly stole my heart and still has it. Since I love that country so much, I plan on returning home next spring and studying abroad there again, this time in Tel Aviv. As the late and wonderful Elie Wiesel said, “When a Jew visits Jerusalem for the first time, it is not the first time; it is a homecoming.” This could not be more true, and it is most definitely a place of comfort, happiness, and home.
Class of 2019