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Jan 5, 2015 By Melanie Young Category: Education,
Caravan for Democracy: 'So much meaning in almost every aspect of Israeli life'
Photo: Will Baxley
Caravan for Democracy guide Leor turns Chase Baker, a junior at the University
of North Florida, into a human map of Israel.
Thirty-two college students of all faiths who have never visited Israel before are currently there participating in the 10-day Caravan for Democracy. The educational experience for young leaders includes touring; meeting political, cultural, and community leaders; and exploring components of Israel's diverse society. Here are early reflections from Melanie Young, a senior in urban studies and urban education at the University of Pennsylvania and recipient of a 2014 Women of Color at Penn award.
This lady used to live in Jerusalem. However, a few months ago, her family packed up all their things in search of a new place to live. She traveled around Israel with her husband and kids to find a place where she could teach her children to love and appreciate the beauty of nature. She now lives in the Golan Heights where her family has been involved in starting a settlement with other young Israelis. She and her husband saw a lot of promise in this land even though it is located close to ISIS troops. She believes there is a steady group of young people settling there who are determined to create a community where children can learn and grow surrounded by the captivating beauty of nature. This story reminded me of the determination of one family to find peace and beauty in a land that often has to face the atrocities of war. I feel blessed that she took the time to share this story with me and I am excited about what else is in store for this trip.
|Photo: Will Baxley|
Caravan for Democracy participants Melanie Young of the University of Pennsylvania (center) and Will Baxley of Jacksonville University get silly on the streets of Israel, while Natalie Davis of Ohio State (far right) photobombs.