Finding Friends and Community in Israel with USY

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Hailey Hovi, a teen from St. Paul, MN converted to Judaism in September 2016, a year after her mother and brothers did the same.  At that time, her rabbi at Beth Jacob Congregation, Morris Allen, promised her that if she made a commitment to Shabbat and continued Jewish learning, he would help her get to Israel.

This summer, that dream became a reality when Hailey joined teens from around the country on USY Israel Pilgrimage. With the encouragement of staff and her new friends, she became bat mitzvah in Israel, reading from the Torah in Eilat.

Said Hailey afterwards, "I wouldn't want to have my bat mitzvah anywhere else or with anyone else."


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