My Jewish journey at Yarchei kallah

 

 












By Yaniv Dahan

Hi my name is Yaniv Dahan and I’m a 14 year-old in 9th grade at Hebrew Academy of Montreal. My professional goal is to attend the University of Montreal in the oral surgery department, but before I complete that professional journey, I am spending time exploring my Jewish identity. NCSY Canada has helped me on that path. 

My journey to Yarchei Kallah began months before the actual trip. It began after I attended an NCSY Shabbaton at Blue Mountain. The shabbaton at Blue Mountain was such an amazing experience that I had fallen in love with NCSY’s message and ideas. And after my newly-made friends raved about Yarchei Kallah, I was convinced to leave my family who were vacationing in Miami to attend Yarchei Kallah all alone. And it was a trip that will stay with me forever. 

As I entered the hotel at the beginning of the trip, I was worried because I only knew a couple of people. But by the end of the 5 days, I knew over 150 kids from the States and Canada. Everyone was so nice and everyone was open to meeting new people. I know  that I will cherish all the friendships that I have made at Yarchei Kallah forever. 

at the metlife

One of the most memorable aspects of Yarchei Kallah was attending the Siyum HaShas. It was one of the happiest moments of my life to stand with 100,000 other Jews singing and dancing. What more can I ask for? What struck me was  how much Judaism means to the thousands of Jews who had come from all over North America to join in one goal: to express their love of Judaism and love of G-D. 

Another memory that stands out for me was the havdalah ceremony on motzei Shabbat, which was absolutely mind blowing. People held candles and made speeches that moved everyone there. And even after this spiritual havdalah, there was singing and simcha dancing. As we swayed shoulder to shoulder, I felt that this was the place where I really belonged. Another highlight was the Zusha concert, my favourite band. The emotion in their voices and the spirituality of their songs were so soothing for the soul. I was also super happy since I met the band. 

Yarchei Kallah lit a desire to learn more Torah. Any chance I had to sit down to learn Torah with my senior educators or advisors, I would. Everyone there was proud to be Jewish, and I have never felt more attached to Judaism than at NCSY’s Yarchei Kallah 2020. Thank you NCSY! 

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