A Message to Gap Year Parents
by Ron Allswang
The pain and anguish of each terrorist attack strikes the heart of every caring Jew, and especially to those fortunate to be living in Israel. The 'strong-resolve' and response of each and every one of us is crucial in our collective effort to beat the enemy.
Some terror events strike a harsher chord than others.
And now, with Ezra Schwartz’s (and of course the others) brutal murder last month, the attention turns to parents of the “Gap Year” students.
Your commitment to Israel and the Jewish people inspired you to send your child, thousands of miles away, to gain all that the year in Israel provides.
And then you hear about the unthinkable.
Your response, whether to have your child return to the USA (or elsewhere) or continue in Israel for the remainder of the year, is ultimately the single-most-powerful-lesson your child will have in 5776.
We learn from an early age the imperative of moving to Israel- Lech Lecha. Even - or especially- those who have not yet had the fortune to make Aliya, ingrain in their children the centrality of Israel to their day-to-day life, even from a great distance. Many aspire to move here. A major, and irreplaceable, part of the Lech-Lecha indoctrination, is the Year in Israel. By allowing your child to fully experience Israel through both joyous and tragic times, you will have provided your child the ultimate lesson of what being part of Am Yisrael is about.
In the Parshat Vayetze we read about Yaakov's exit from The Land, but it is your duty now more than ever to reinforce and strengthen The Lech Lecha message.
Come here to hug your child. Speak daily. And allow your child to complete the ultimate Israel/educational experience.
Ron Allswang is the PR and Marketing Director of Lema'an Achai. For more info, click HERE.