“I fell in love with Israel—the vibe, the people, their differing viewpoints, and the way the landscape fluctuates from north to south,” said Greene. Greene decided that he wanted to spend more time in Israel, and began researching five-month Masa Israel experiences.
In Nitzana, a small town in the Negev desert, Greene discovered Masa Israel’s Desert Sports Challenge, where he could take part in extreme sports in Israel alongside other young Jewish adults. Greene headed home to pack and returned to Israel for five months of rappelling, mountain biking, scuba diving, and triatholon training.
“One morning while hiking the Israel Trail, I found myself standing on a large plateau in the middle of a crater,” remembered Greene. “It was a clear day and I could see the mountains of Jordan and the whole view was breathtaking. Suddenly, the whole experience made sense to me. Israel was changing my life.”
During his five months in Israel, Greene also attended classes in Hebrew and Israeli history and had discussions with Israelis peers about their Jewish identities. “There’s a gap between being a spiritual Jew and religious Jew, and through my program, I found a way to bridge that gap for me personally.”