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Eliana Palmer – Why TJJ?

Eliana Palmer – Why TJJ?

Eliana Palmer – Why TJJ?

Calendar October 19, 2021

Why TJJ? Why not?! A month in the holy land?!

Who could think of a better way to spend your summer?!

For me, I had been weighing out my summer options since the very beginning of freshman year. But I never seemed to make the time or show enough interest to pursue it. Until this summer when the opportunity knocked on my door one last time. And I took it.


A month-long trip traveling all over the state, having a blast, discovering ancient artifacts all while learning and asking important questions about our ancestors and what makes Israel our home.

I signed up for the “Best. Summer. Ever.” and I got even more than that. I got a summer I will never forget with friends and life lessons that will last a lifetime.

If you told me last year that I would be traveling all over Israel a year later, I would’ve said that you are crazy. But truthfully, it was just what I needed.

Even with the circumstances we were in, our staff was able to ensure us the BEST.SUMMER.EVER.

We traveled from north to south. Each place leaving an instantaneous mark whether for the fun memories or the important conversations that needed to be had.

One of the most memorable moments of my summer was during TishaBav, at the Western Wall; the sense of community and love in the air is truly remarkable and something I will never forget. And back in our activity room in Kibbutz Tzuba; we sat in a circle with candles lit in front of us and listened to everyone’s stories of loss. For me, I told parts of my story that I haven’t even told my closest friends back home. That’s how close I felt to everyone in our group. We are truly a family. We are able to listen, take in, reflect and start important conversations. That’s one of the reasons why my love for our group is so immense.

While the fun parts of the trip are amazing, I also loved how engaged everyone got in chaburahs (our assigned groups with an advisor). We didn’t show up to each educational activity because we had to, we showed up because we wanted/have the urge to learn more about our history and the history of our ancestors.

The connections I’ve made on this trip I know will last forever. I’ve never been in a group of people that I’m fully comfortable with being 100% myself than this group.

I truly found myself in Israel. I found myself with this group of people. Without each and every person on my bus I wouldn’t be the proud Jew, daughter, sister and friend that I am today.

Looking back to when we arrived in Israel, stepping off the plane, I felt at home. That’s how all of us should be able to feel once you get the chance to travel to the holiest place in the world. So, I will continue to advocate for Israel in my community, campus, and social media as I am proud to be Jewish and of my heritage.

I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. So, when it came to TJJ ATS Bus 1, I knew we were all put together for a reason and is why I would highly recommend TJJ to anyone in a heartbeat.

(TJJ which stands for The Jerusalem Journey is a program run by NCSY)