Humans of Birthright Israel: Emma Davidman - Israel on the house

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Emma with cherry tomatoes

Humans of Birthright Israel: Emma Davidman

Every year Sachlav Birthright Israel brings thousands of young Jews from all over North America to Israel for a free 10 day trip.  As a non-denominational organization, Sachlav prides itself on bringing Jews from all different backgrounds together. Over the years, Sachlav has become known for its diversity and its unique participants including but not limited to movie stars, professional photographers and LGBTQ advocates.  It is this diversity that sparked the need for Humans of Birthright Israel! If your interested in going on a trip, SIGN UP HERE!

Meet Emma Davidman.  Emma is a 23 year old Physician’s Assistant graduate student in Eastern North Carolina.   On top of being passionate about providing medical care to underserved areas, she is also passionate about cooking, hiking and traveling!  Emma’s bubbly personality and witty pictures are what set her apart from her peers and brought her to Sachlav’s Humans of Birthright Israel! Thanks Emma for sharing your thoughts with us.

 

Emma at Sunset on Masada

Masada at Sunrise

 


 

Q: How would you sum up your trip in 1 sentence?

 

A: Birthright was the most eye opening, life changing, incredible experience that I wish I could repeat over and over again. I have never felt so connected to a country and a group of people in such a short period of time.

 

Q: I see from your Instagram that you are in PA school! What inspires you and what are your goals?!

 

A: I am a second year PA student at East Carolina University and will be finished in December of 2019. When I am finished, I hope to enter into Dermatology or Pediatrics and work with medically underserved populations. I am inspired by all of the individuals I meet who are hard-working, kind, selfless individuals but who may not necessarily have the education and access to receive quality healthcare, and I feel a deep sense of responsibility to do as much as possible to help better the lives of those around me.

One day I hope to move abroad permanently and provide medical care in another country that is lacking sufficient providers. I also secretly hope to become a chef and a wine connoisseur, but that’s a whole different story!

 

Q: Feel free to tell us about any hobbies that inspire you.

 

A: Aside from my love of traveling, I absolutely adore being outdoors and cooking. Israel Vibe was the perfect trip for me because not only did I get to experience outdoor adventures like a water hike through the Jordan River and hiking the Masada, but I also got to try some of the most amazing food I have ever had in my entire life. Now that I am back in the states I am hoping I can recreate some of the amazing meals I tried…. Wish me luck!

 

Q: How was visiting Israel as a future PA- did you find anything that you could relate to or connect to?

 

A: As a future PA, I love traveling to new countries and learning more about different cultures so that I can better meet the needs of individuals with different backgrounds. Thankfully I never had to step foot in an Israeli hospital, but I think I might start recommending a trip to Israel for all of my future patients! Between relaxing on the beaches, floating in the miracle Dead Sea waters, the lack of American fast food, and the general uplifting mood I felt the entire time I was there, I feel like a trip to Israel in itself may possess some healing qualities!

 

Q: Why did you pick Sachlav IsraelontheHouse?

 

A: After looking at all of the potential trip providers, I felt that Sachlav would be the best fit for my personality. I was looking for a trip involving outdoor adventures, historical meaning, and a whole lot of culture, and the Israel Vibe description fit exactly what I was looking for!

 

Standing outside a shul

Ancient Synagogues in Tzfat

 

Q: What was/is your connection to Israel and Judaism before your Birthright Israel trip? What was/is it now after your trip?

 

A: I have always felt culturally connected to Judaism, although I grew up in a non-religious household. My father’s side of the family is Jewish, so I grew up celebrating the high holidays and attending a Jewish youth group, but I knew very little about the true religion itself. As for Israel, my only connection was through my grandfather. He was born in Tel Aviv and raised in Jerusalem, so I grew up hearing stories about his childhood and listening to incredible descriptions of the country. Being in Israel and experiencing the cities that he grew up in was magical, and I was so excited to come back to America and share my own stories with him.

Now that I have returned from Birthright, I feel a deep sense of connection to the Jewish culture and Israel is a whole. I hope to keep learning about the Jewish culture and religion and integrating both into my daily life. After having the time of my life for 10 days, I have also vowed to myself that I will try and live each day like a Birthright trip… to the fullest extent and like I only have a few days left to do anything and see everything that I can!

 

Q: What impact has your Birthright Israel Sachlav IsraelontheHouse trip had on you?

 

A: It’s difficult to put in to words the impact that this trip had on my life, but it truly gave me a new outlook on the world. Being in Israel and surrounded by people with whom I share so many values and desires made me feel alive, and I’ve come back as a person who is ready to take on anything life throws at me with a smile and to embrace Tikkun Olam to the fullest extent!

 

Q: What were your three favorite things on your trip?

 

A: Well this is nearly impossible because I loved every second of my trip, but I can try to pick just 3!

-Hiking the Masada… who knew I could have so much fun waking up at 3 am!?

-Exploring every shuk I could find. Between the food, the the people, the GUMMIES, and just the overall energy, I feel like the shuks really helped me experience Israel in the most electric way.

-Staying in the Bedouin tents! Nothing can make you bond with your group more than stargazing in the dessert, singing songs around a roaring bonfire and snuggling in a giant tent all night!

 

Q: Do you plan/hope to come back to Israel? If so, why?

 

A: Although I have no current plans to come back to Israel, I absolutely hope that I will be able to one day.

 

Q: Would you recommend Sachlav IsraelontheHouse to a friend?

A: ABSOLUTELY, in fact I already have! I had the greatest experience, the most hysterical guide, and made the greatest friends I could ever hope for. No one will regret traveling on a Sachlav trip.

 

Emma standing by the water

Caesarea Beach