Q&A: Talia Harman (12)


Talia Harman (12) poses for the camera in Tel Aviv, Israel. The total flight time from Chicago, Illinois, to Tel Aviv, Israel, with a layover in Istanbul, Turkey, was 14 hours.

Rachel Front

Q: Why did you decide to go Israel?

A: I wanted to go to Israel because I’ve never been [there] and I wanted to experience a different culture.

Q: Were you nervous about going?

A: I was nervous at first because I did not know what to expect and because of all the fighting you hear about.

Q: What were your expectations before going?

A: I expected it to be beautiful and have lots of amazing architecture.

Q: What were some places that you went to?

A: I went to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Old City of Acre.

Q: What were some things that you did?

A: I rode camels and helped make people happy in the hospital. [I also] worked on a stone wall [in Acre] to help it stay sturdy.

Q: What was it like climbing Masada? What was it like floating in the Dead Sea?

A: Climbing Masada was amazing. It was beautiful at the top.The Dead Sea was something different because you sit there and float like its nothing. It’s something everyone should do.

Q: What did the trip mean to you?

A: The trip meant a lot to me, and made me closer to my Judaism. It let me connect with some amazing people.

Q: What was the most memorable part of the trip?

A: The best part of the trip was climbing Masada because I’ve never done anything like it before.

Q: What did you find different between the two countries and culture?

A: America and Israel’s cultures are very different in that everyone goes to the military after high school, unlike the US.

Q: Did going change you?

A: It made me want to experience other cultures, stay very connected to my religion, visit Israel again and it made me appreciate things more.

Q: Do you plan on going again?

A: I would go again because it was such an eye opening experience and a great place to be.

Q: What was your favorite part of the trip?

A: I loved everything about the trip. Just being with other Jewish people and connecting with them was the best part.

Q: Was the language difference an issue?

A: The language difference at first was hard for me because I couldn’t communicate with people, but after a few days I picked up on the Hebrew and eventually could ask basic questions and have answers.