Wow, more then half our our expected 5,000 participants of the summer season have already left on their Israel Outdoors trips and it is not yet July! For those of you who have already gone on trips, below are some suggestions from Group TL-27-537 alumna Tara Witt on how to keep in touch with all of your new besties. For those of you who have yet to go on trips, read on anyway. This will come in handy soon enough!
This is kind of a no-brainer but just in case let me remind you why e-mail is best. Whether you go home to a cubicle or a pile of books, you’re just one window click away from your Gmail. It’s the easiest to access and it doesn’t require “free time.” You can’t chat on the phone with friends at work but you can switch from your spreadsheets over to your e-mail without the boss noticing (come on, we all know you do it). Keep an on-going chain with friends to share your up’s and down’s after Israel. Staying in touch doesn’t mean consistently reminiscing on the same events, it means continuing to build on your friendship foundations.
There is always something to celebrate and if you are geographically nearby people from your trip, invite them to celebrate with you! You now have a crew of 30-40 more people who are thrilled to see your life move upward and onward. So whether it’s a birthday, promotion, engagement, or new home, you know your new found friends will help you relish in this moment! If you are away from family, celebrate holidays together. If you are looking for more Jewish direction, celebrate your learning by going with friends to synagogue or Hillel because you have a new fan club and they will always help you celebrate in style.
3. Book Club
This one is a little different, but if you are a person who is looking for more spiritual guidance after your trip, having a book club about religion and Judaism is a great way to continue growing your friendships and your faith. You don’t have to jump right in to reading the Torah – you can read anything that interests you. It’s the group chats and Skype sessions that will be the most fun, anyway.
How did it take me this long to mention Facebook?! Of course! This is a BIG no-brainer but let’s talk about it anyway. You are not too cool for Facebook, nor are you that busy or that important. So hop on regular enough to keep up please! This will be the natural forum for all other connections like birthday parties and other large happenings in people’s lives. Consider Facebook a modern form of showing interest in your relationships, so show an interest in keeping in touch with your group. You couldn’t possibly over-like photos and statuses or over comment, so just let lose.
After a few days, someone will naturally begin talks of a reunion and whether it’s one month away or 10, you should go. You didn’t let anything get in the way of your ten days in Israel and if you’re thankful you made time for that then you will be thankful you make time for all accompanying events. Plus, it’s a great excuse to pretend you’re in Tel Aviv again.
Have more suggestions on how to stay in touch? Leave a comment below or send us an e-mail to [email protected].