I chose to participate in Otzma at the age of 23 because it had everything I wanted in an experience abroad.
During the first part of the program, I lived in northern Israel with other Otzma participants and volunteered at the Nazeret Elite absorption center with new Israeli immigrants. With my economics degree and business interests, I was in heaven. Living in a development town, I acclimated to day-to-day life with the help of the locals, while learning about how they got to Israel, what made them want to come in the first place, and what skills they expected to use to find a better life for their children.
Three months later, I headed to MetroWest’s partner town of Ofakim, 20 minutes south of Be’er Sheva, with two other Otzma participants from MetroWest. While settling into Ofakim life, I learned about the Moroccan immigrants who had developed the town in the 1950s and immersed myself in their culture.