Key Takeaways from a Birthright Israel Staffer

As the summer of 2018 was quickly approaching, I decided that I wanted to staff my first Birthright trip to visit Israel another time and to further my knowledge of Judaism. I knew that my Birthright experience as a staffer would be different from as a Birthright participant but I still wanted to learn more about myself, my Jewish identity, leadership abilities, and create new friendships.

One key takeaway during the trip was how important it is to communicate effectively. As a Birthright staffer, you have to consistently communicate with your co-staffer, your Birthright participants and your tour guide. Although you might run into some disagreements when discussing upcoming activities, it is important to listen effectively to each other to reach an unanimous decision.

Another key takeaway from this Birthright trip that I learned more about some of my strengths as a leader. Collaborating with my co-staffer and my tour guide prior to the next days’ events was where I utilized my organizing and planning skills that I use in my everyday life. I was able to help us prepare not only ourselves but our participants for the next days event by combining my organizing and planning skills along with my communication skills. Although it is very beneficial to be organized and have a plan, sometimes at the end of the day, there comes a point where you have to be flexible with plans changing due to unforeseen circumstances.

My last key takeaway is to not be afraid to ask questions and to keep learning. Although it was not my first time in Israel, it is imperative to take in all of the knowledge that is learned throughout the trip while exploring all different parts of Israel.

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