- Written by Cristina
This was not my first time in Israel, not even my first time as an advisor for the TIMEMUN, but it was definitely the best experience I have ever had with students. The Israel Middle East Model United Nations (TIMEMUN) conference takes place in mid-February every year at the Walworth Barbour American International School in Even Yehuda, Israel.
For the past few years our students have been part of a student exchange program with the Tichon Hadas high school in Herzliya so, come 15th of February, together with 11 students from 9th, 10th and 11th grade we left for what was going to be the experience of a life time.
The best of part of the student exchange experience is the opportunity of staying with Israeli families who awaited us at the airport, with flowers, banners, balloons and all!. The weekend was meant to help the students getting to know each other, to spend time with other teenagers, to prepare for what was coming!
I thought I would see a group of quiet, shy, awkwardly silent kids on Saturday evening, the first time we got together for an activity. Little did I know! Everybody was getting along, playing music, having fun, eating dinner as if they had known each other for years.
The TIMEMUN conference took us to one of the most prestigious schools in Israel and I was proud to see the kids in the different comities doing very well or learning fast. To our delight, after the closing ceremony we changed clothes and it seemed like the best part of the trip was yet to come! It actually did!
An evening in the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv can cater for the pickiest participant and we had a great meal, a nice walk, a peek in the shops and a mysterious night at the Escape Room. The following day, the nicest, warmest sun that spring in Israel can offer welcomed and accompanied us on a trip to the Negev, on a hike to Masada and a swim in the Dead Sea. We couldn’t leave Israel without going to Jerusalem so we went! A prayer at the Holy Sepulcher Church, a prayer and a note at the Wailing Wall, a guided tour of the old city gave us to a final grasp of the Holy Land.
All of the above are great things and brought us great joy but, as teachers, we were more delighted to see a group of young people getting along, finding things in common, emerged in a different culture or showing their culture, laughing and joking and enjoying themselves so much that when the moment came to say good bye it all ended with hugs and tears and lifelong promises!
Prof. Diana Gherasimiuc
Pe data de 15 februarie, impreuna cu alti 11 colegi, am plecat in Israel, unde aveam sa imi petrec una din cele mai frumoase saptamani ale acestui an. Am participat intr-un program de schimb de experienta unde am avut norocul sa fiu gazduita de o familie extraordinara din Herzliya. Am avut oportunitatea sa vad cat de asemanatoare pot fi doua vieti din doua tari diferite si cat de mult se pot apropia doua persoane.
Pe langa experienta aceasta, cea de a trai impreuna cu o familie, am avut sansa sa vad cu adevarat Israelul, printr-o excursie in desert,o baie in Marea Moarta si o vizita in Ierusalim, la Zidul Plangerii. Excursia la Ierusalim a fost cu adevarat emotionanta pentru mine, deoarece am vazut trei lumi diferite intr-un singur oras. Am mers pe langa tarabele pline de obiecte, am luat pranzul in prima statie de tren din Ierusalim si am avut ocazia de a scrie un biletel pe care l-am pus mai tarziu in crapaturile din Zidul Plangerii.
La randul nostru, dupa 3 saptamani, am aratat delegatiei din Israel o parte din cele mai frumoase locuri din Romania atunci cand acestia ne-au vizitat. Impreuna cu ei am fost la cetatea din Sighisoara, am vazut centrul orasului Brasov si am vizitat Castelul Peles. Pe langa aceste locuri, copiii din Israel au participat la evenimentul organizat de scoala 2Day Ambassador unde in prima zi au ascultat discursurile celor 20 de elevi care au reprezentat diferiteambasade si in a doua zi au participat la dezbaterile cu personalitatile prezente la eveniment.
Desi vizitele s-au terminat si nu o sa mai fie nicio alta excursie, eu nu simt ca acest schimb de experienta s-a terminat cu adevarat. Nu o sa uit niciodata amintirile facute si prieteniile stranse pe care mi le-am facut cu elevii israelieni.
Daria Goldenberg, 10U
Dear Laude-Reut students,
Our school, The New Municipal High School in Herzliya, has a strong and wonderful connection with the Laude-Reut school for the past 6 years!
For me and my friends, it was the first time in Romania, and it was absolutely amazing! During our week stay, we visited many beautiful places outside of Bucharest such as Brasov, Sighisoara, Sinaia and Cristian. In Bucharest, we visited the Old City and the Jewish Synagogue Temple Coral. We had a meaningful and important meeting with former Israeli Ambassador Ms. Tamar Samash. We have seen how big Bucharest is, tasted the food and were introduced to traditions, the culture and even tried to learn a little Romanian on the way.
Our participation in the 2Day Ambassador conference was an amazing experience for us. During the public speaking competition, we heard so many talented student speakers, and even had a representative of our own - Maya Hecht, who spoke on behalf of the Israeli youth.
In the parliament, it was an interesting experience to see and hear speeches and presentations from diplomats, politicians and experts. They all brought with them the love for diplomacy and gave us the desire to become diplomats in the future.
It was also nice to see your daily life and school. Your classes, what you like to learn in school, how your beautiful school looks like, and what are your after-school hobbies.
And most importantly, we met an amazing group of people! Thank you for showing us Romania through your eyes, this certainly won’t be the last time for us here! Hope we will all come to visit this country again. You left a good mark through your warm family hosting, worrying that nothing is missing for us and you let us feel like home.
Big Thank you to Ms. Tova the head master of the school, for inviting us to take part in this experience! Many thanks to the wonderful and devoted teachers Andrea and Diana! You worked so hard to make this amazing experience.
Romania was a gift, thank you for the opportunity to experience and learn together. Until next time 😁
Yours, Sivan and the Israeli group from The New Municipal School in Herzliya Israel