Students Speak

Ilan Mnassen

Senior communications & media consultant at Ben Horin Alexandrovitz

My experience in Generation began in 2014 when I first heard about the annual program and about the delegations of young Israeli students to Jewish communities around the world. At first, I did not fully understand the mission that the organization is trying to promote. But throughout the year, it became more and more clear to me. The most important international relation that we need to preserve as a nation – is with our own. To stand strong against constant threats from outside, we need to strengthen our relationships amongst ourselves, between groups, sectors, and communities of the Jewish world.
Being a part of the Generations family has been one of the most important and determining experiences of my life. Participating in 2 delegations, one as a student and the second as a delegation director, gave me a new outlook on the importance of an unmediated encounter between people of the Jewish nation and heritage, both in Israel and around the world. 
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Dana Mizrahi

New York – Baltimore Delegation, September 2014/Dana Mizrahi
Dana holds an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the Ben-Gurion University in the Negev.

“Generations for me was a physical and spiritual experience, together. Each week we were able to listen to lecturers who were interesting and fascinating, funny and who led you to wonder,
and we even got to learn how to do Israeli Hasbara by the best professionals in the field. I was sure I was embarking on a journey, at the end of which I would know how to honorably represent
Israel to the world that is viciously against us in the media, but in retrospect, I can say that beyond the
feeling of ambassadorship built into me, I embarked on a journey of rediscovering the Jew inside me. Throughout the year I was exposed to depths of Judaism I had never known. I was granted the opportunity to ask all the hard, difficult questions related to the riſt between religious and secular Jews – serving in the IDF, taxes, Avrechim, traditions… and I discovered an openness on the subject which I had never known. Suddenly, ultra-Orthodox lecturers who came from a world I considered “closed” and “shut off” spoke openly and pleasantly about Judaism through their eyes, about their way of life, ad more importantly, they listened to me, as someone who defines herself as a secular Jew, to what I had to say and to my ways. Suddenly, the border between secular and
religious Jew was erased, and we were able to have civil discussions as Jews. Our common denominator as Jewish brothers hovered above us, and thanks to that we embarked on a journey of rediscovering who the “Jewish Me” was in each of us. For the first time, I was also faced before an imaginary mirror, which reflected to me
what a judgmental society we had become, and how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is
reflected in our people and the riſt within the people. Foe me, the delegation was the conclusion of the year, the climax. Beyond the Hasbara we presented to teenagers and university students, we were exposed to different Jewish
cultures and different ways of running a Jewish community in the Diaspora. We understood that there were other ways to bring Jewish hearts closer, and we departed believing that these methods should be brought to our tiny country.
At the end of the delegation, I leſt with the feeling that we were all small ambassadors.
Not just ambassadors of Israel to the world, but mainly ambassadors of Jewish Israelis that who were able to coexist despite the differences and different traditions. We are the generation which will begin the process of getting over the riſt in the people. We are smarter than prejudice and a biased media. We have the ability to speak. More
than anything, we have the ability to listen.
I leſt Generations with a new ability – to listen and understand that there are around me people that are different from me, but that doesn’t need to stop our unity as a people. It’s important for me to add one substantial thing – the organization is open to
accepting others, regardless of who they may be – that is their moto. Because above all, we are Jews before anything else. I wish everyone has such a meaningful experience in their life. And remember – each and everyone of us is a small ambassador in society , and large change begins with small changes. If each of us makes the effort and one times opens up and listens to the other side  we’ll be on the right path to becoming a civilized, united society , as we are meant to be.
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Bar Kaner

Mechanical engineering student at Ben-Gurion University.

“Throughout the year, I met lecturers and amazing people who turned my Mondays into the most fun day of the week. The lectures were very interesting, enriching, and provided us with the tools we needed to use on our delegation overseas, and in life in general. I think the Generations program should be an integral part of the degree.
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