Jambo! A Swahili “Hello” From Kenya

By: Jordan Liderman 

After 24 hours of travel, Project Inspire has arrived in Kenya! Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta airport feels like a fitting welcome of what’s to come for the Project Inspire cohort—small, inviting, a bit chaotic and unexpected. The staff is all so friendly and welcoming. These themes feel fitting to this upcoming journey, which will be full of great people and unique experiences. We cannot wait to share more with you over the coming days.

Nine hours ago, we were in Zurich on a layover in the early hours waiting for our connecting flight to Nairobi. Embarking on this trip, we all came as strangers, representing a broad range of Boston’s Jewish young adults. In the Zurich airport we were still getting to know each other.

Along with our leaders from CJP—Aviva and Matty—and from the Israeli Consulate in Boston—Daniel—we are 11 young adults currently residing in the Greater Boston area. We all have very different backgrounds and career paths, yet we all share a common passion for tikkun olam, Israel and this journey that awaits us.

The airport conversations ranged from Daniel’s time in Kazakstan to Jonathan’s recent legal case to Hallie sharing photos of her daughter.  Some played cards while others chose to nap. As we watched early morning flights take off out the window, we prepared for our own journey.

While Project Inspire is about the role that Israel plays overseas, it’s much more than that. It’s a cross-section of people from all different backgrounds sharing one common experience and growing together. The next week will include visits to a variety of different sites, including an eye clinic, art center, elephant orphanage, schools and farms. We will also be attending Shabbat services at Nairobi’s Hebrew Congregation.

Across all of these experiences we will get to learn and grow together by sharing our different thoughts and perspectives with one another and the communities we meet. As you read this blog, we look forward to sharing these stories and experiences with you.

I am open-minded coming in to this journey. I grew up in Israel the first half of my life before returning a few years ago to complete my master’s of public health. I have therefore heard all about Israel’s innovation and work abroad, yet never gotten to witness it. I am excited to see firsthand the impact Israel has abroad in communities like Nairobi, and hope that I can carry this knowledge and passion to be a better advocate for Israel and make a difference of my own.

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