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Trip to Israel (2012)

ISRAEL 2012- Comparative Religious Thought II

Led by Prof. David Odell-Scott and Chaya Kessler. 

This year we had a group of five faculty and 9 students traveling to Israel, for most, their first experience, where they learned much, saw and photographed a lot and made many fantastic memories.  

Listen to the voices of some of the 2012 participants… 

Ciera Greene, Senior, Justice Studies major and a Jewish Studies Minor
The archeological findings in this country are what really amazed me… I made friendships that will last a lifetime along with all the memories that were made. I had an incredible time and I cannot wait to go back to Israel.  

From John Stalvey, Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences
So now when I read a news article about Israel, I picture a much different place than I did before the trip.  

From Maddie Winer, sophomore, Journalism major and Spanish minor.
We also saw a scale model of what Jerusalem looked like during the Second Temple period. Seeing the model made me realize all the history and sacred geography I had learned in the past 10 days.

From David LaBelle, Lecturer, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication
It is one thing to read about or see pictures of The Mount of Olives or Gethsemane, it is another to walk among ancient olive trees in the darkness and feel the night breeze and see the lights of Jerusalem below and consider these are the same winds Jesus might have felt, the same earth he walked upon. As a photojournalist, the diversity of Israel, especially Jerusalem, is a visual smorgasbord. The architecture, the light, the shapes, colors, cultural diversity and emblems of traditions beckon to be recorded. 

From Galen Elser, community member
The odd thing about going to Israel was the number of people I knew who, when I told them that my next destination was going to be Israel, told me I was crazy to want to go there. Actually I loved every moment and never felt endangered. 

From David W. Odell-Scott, Ph.D., Professor & Chair, Department of Philosophy, and Coordinator of Religion Studies, Kent State University
The study abroad program was my first trip to Israel. Having spent a considerable portion of the past forty years studying the history, texts, societies, cultures, and convictions in play in the middle east, especially associated with religious traditions, what I came to more fully recognize and more deeply appreciate is the complex ways in which all of this is in play in the contemporary democratic state of Israel. Studying the historic sites and ruins of Israel's legacy of diverse religious traditions, cultures and institutions, and the flourishing diversity of Israel's contemporary religious and cultural scene will influence and shape how I teach for years to come.  

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the following organizations for their generous support: 
  • The Lippman Mitzvah Makers Fund of the Jewish Community Board of Akron.  
  • The Ruth G. and Sam H. Sampliner Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. 
  • TheThomases Family Endowment of the Youngstown area Jewish Federation.  
  • The Youngstown District ZOA for their generous support.  

Thank you, your help makes a HUGE difference.

IMAGE: Israel2012_group

KSU group visit to Western Galilee College- 2012

Front row kneeling from L - R: Megann Galehouse, Ciera Greene, John Stalvey, Conor Stalvey, Eliyad Eliyahu(educational coordinator partnership 2gether)
Standing from L –R: Maddie Winer, Candice Nemoff, David LaBelle, Lauren Odell-Scott, David Odell-Scott, Jeff Dynda, Chaya Kessler, Chloe Makarick, Linda Futterman (Director of International Relations at WGC) Galen Elser, Natalie Winer, Tomer Lupu( 2nd year student coordinator of student ties from partnership campuses in the US)

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