HOUSTON, TX – Brent Katz, an American living in Israel, transports soldiers to Gaza, he said, “”I`m close enough to hear it, sometimes I`m close enough to feel it. Even over an open field, it might be quite a ways off but you can still feel the shockwaves. I`m taking soldiers and putting them on very front lines and then dropping back and then bringing the groups out.”
As the conflict was mounting, 43 students of Congregation Emanu El`s religious school got to experience the stresses of the region while visiting Israel.
Just living day by day, moment, knowing there`s always that threat overhead that there could be missiles.” said Jason Gerlich
Grace Cline explained, “Despite the constant conflict there while we were there, it was something that I could bring home and tell people.”
The teens were kept from danger, never even heard a siren, but the tensions were obvious.
“I was concerned, yes. But I knew that I was safe with my group and they would keep us updated and keep us out of harms way.” said Kyra Goren
“What I got out of it was just a sense of pride that Israelis and the Jewish community has in their country, and to experience that and be a part of that was very fulfilling.” according Isaac Winter
The teens may not have seen everything they intended to, which in some ways made the trip even more memorable.
“On the trip were able to see a different side of Israel than the usual touristy experience. We saw a side of Israel that we would never have seen otherwise.” recalled Eli Winter
“It`s just a life changing opportunity to be there and experience what Israelis experience every day of there lives.” explained Adam Gerlich
Rabbi Marc Disick of Congregation Emanu El believes the teens served a bigger purpose, “”These kids felt that they were helping simply by being there, and helping Israelis to feel a little less isolated.”
A world away, Houston teenangers making a difference.