4HQ Israel Encounters’s 2019 Israel trip was a great success of learning, intrigue and dialogue. Here are reflections from two members of the 2019 cohort:

Looking back on the Moishe House 4HQ experience is a blur of fascinating discussions and adventures, but thankfully most of the content was documented in our workbooks. Not only was this trip action-packed and full of mind-stimulating education on everything Israel-related, but the staff also managed to do it all smoothly, making it enjoyable to ride along. Of course, the interactive discussions helped digest all the information and exposure to Israel’s multifaceted society and almost endless range of cultures.This was certainly not my first experience exploring Israel, but I was blown away by how much new information we were taught and the different educational angles which were presented by a host of experts in nearly every matter pertaining to this land. Be it political, religious, spiritual, or cultural, the Moishe House and Makom staff and educators put together a truly unforgettable experience with a very special group of participants which is sure to serve its purpose of bringing back the rich inspiration and constructive conversation to our local Moishe House communities.

Shmuel Morgenstein, Moishe House Baltimore resident alum & MHWOW host – Los Angeles, CA

I went into 4HQ not really knowing how I felt about Israel. It was always there, but it was kind of abstract for me being half a world away. I began with a healthy dose of skepticism, as I do with most things, but I was optimistic that Moishe House would deliver on their promise of offering different – and sometimes conflicting – perspectives about Israeli and Jewish society, politics, and everything in between. I have learned through my albeit limited Jewish education that if I leave with answers, then I’m just not doing it right. In true Jewish fashion, I left with more questions than answers and a clear sense that the waters of Israel’s existence are even muddier than I imagined. But I also left with the feeling that these conversations, however difficult, were vital and that people needed to have experiences like these – meeting with Palestinian activists who are fighting for their rights just as much as Israelis are fighting for theirs; hearing the voices of Yemenite and Ethiopian Jews who feel like minorities and outcasts in their own country and in their own communities; and grappling with one’s own ideals and ideas about what Israel is, what it isn’t and how to feel about that. Throughout the trip, I jotted down programming ideas and I began to develop a concise plan as soon as I touched down at home. Regardless of my (still very much confused) feelings on Israel, I had an urgent need to create and implement programming that carried on the spirit of 4HQ and the tough questions it asks.

Amy Krigsman, MHWOW host – Boynton Beach, FL