My CTeen Summer Experience

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By Evabella Serebro

It started in New York where none of us knew each other and only some of us have met before. We landed in Poland and our Heritage Quest had begun.

The first night was one of my favorites. Where I had met my best friend, we both knew no one and were nervous. We ended up being roommate’s and in less than 10 minutes we clicked instantly.

As the first week went on, we traveled to Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. In the museum there is displayed a big book with a large number of names of people who were murdered just for being Jewish. Our tour guide asked us to search for our last name in the book, take a picture of it, and see if any names are familiar to our family. Me thinking there wouldn’t be any Serebro’s and flipping through the pages I found my last name amazing me.

When we landed in Israel, I couldn’t believe I was actually there. People on the plane were clapping, some were crying, and all as excited as I was. I had an amazing experience, one that I will never forget.

When I was younger, I have always wanted to visit Israel, and here I am speaking about my wonderful adventure in the Holy Land.  

I highly recommend this trip to any Jewish teen considering going. This trip made a crazy impact on me and made me want to celebrate Shabbos every Friday night and daven in the mornings. Being in Poland, learning new things and actually seeing the concentration camps made me realize how much I love being Jewish and how grateful I am to be alive today to tell this story.

I especially would like to thank the Jewish federation of Sarasota-Manatee County for providing me a scholarship, Sara and Ella Steinmentz for their support and guidance, my parents for letting me have the involvement in this trip, and the wonderful counselors and  rebbetzin’s that helped make this trip happen.