Introducing… Netanel!

6 years ago nashkenazi 0

Netanel Ashkenazi

Howdy! I’m Netanel, 17 years old and a proud CTeen leader from San Antonio, Texas. I am one of the numerous new writers for CTeen Connection.

Here’s a little about me: I originally grew up in Israel, and moved to the U.S. when I was a little past 9 years old. I was born in Ramat Gan, but I grew up in Holon which is right by Tel Aviv. Holon is known as the city for kids filled with parks, basketball courts, and anything else a kid could want. My days were filled with Taekwondo, time at the park, and playing with friends who all lived right near me. The routine was go to school, finish my homework, and then go to the park. But let’s be real I never actually got to finish my homework before going to the park because the way things work in Israel are a little bit different from here in the states. Although we had phones and could’ve called each other to let one another know that we are on the way to the park, we simply stood in front of our friends building and yelled out his or hers name until they would come out to the balcony so we can tell them what’s going on. Though the older people in the buildings didn’t particular like that. One sport we always looked forward to playing together? Soccer. It’s a pretty big sport in Israel and we all loved to play, but thanks to my soccer skills at the time I kicked my teacher in the back of the head and she flew forward while she was standing peacefully on the side watching the students running around.

Later on in fourth grade my family and I moved to Chicago, Illinois. When I moved to the states I only knew four words which were: yes, no, balloon, and dog. I studied in a Jewish day school called Hillel Torah located in Skokie. I learned an enormous amount while I was there and truly became interested in Judaism. On the basketball court you could find me sporting my tzitzis and kippah proudly. We lived in Chicago for a year and a half, and that’s when we made our way to San Antonio. Ealinor Kolitz Academy was the name of the school I attended then and was also a Jewish day school yet much smaller.

The Jewish community in San Antonio is small and a lot of the teens attend different high schools. This is where the great program as we know it comes along, and why CTeen is so important to me. With CTeen we can arrange events where all of us get together and have the luxury of being in a Jewish environment. Our CTeen has Torah classes and social events and our chapter gets larger every year. Local shabbatons, regionals shabbatons and the International shabbaton are all very important to us because it is one of the best way to bond to embrace our Jewish identity.