Journal Entry #3 – Saying Goodbye but not Forever
After a never-long-enough three weeks together, our host families and teens had to say goodbye. The ripple effect of this year’s OHOH program will last forever – for both the teens and the host families. Over the three week period, connections were made, memories were created and deep relationships were formed that will forever change the lives of everyone involved.
Beyond the intention of giving these kids a “break” from living near terrorism, David Smith, long-time chairperson of the program along with his wife, Leslie Smith said, “Another objective of this program is to show these kids that there is a bigger world outside of Israel brimming with people who care about them and are invested in what happens in Israel.” Among the pool parties, community dinners and host families who lovingly open their homes and hearts to these teens, the Israeli teens walk away from this program each feeling loved and supported.
Thanks to technology, especially the Israeli-based WhatsApp messenger app, everyone can stay in touch by text and video calls so that, although the program has ended, the relationships that have started can continue to blossom.
For more information on how you can get involved in next year’s Open Hearts Open Homes program, please contact Elana Prezant at [email protected] or call 201-666-6610.