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CVG Send Off, LGA, JFK, Flight to Warsaw (Day 1)

The morning started off amazing! The travelers prayer and goodbye remarks were really meaningful. For me, I was a lot less nervous than I thought I would be. After just the first flight, I’m already having a blast! Today’s great start has gotten me even more excited for the coming days.I feel like there are going to be so many memorable moments along the way and I’m feeling very thankful that I get to share these moments with the people I truly care about.
–Jacob Kotzin
It’s been super smooth so far. The beginning ceremony was nice and sweet. The parents seemed more emotional than the teens… but we hide feelings well:). The rock is a super cool concept; we bring it from Cincinnati and leave it somewhere on our journey that we want to remember when we get home. I’m thinking of it as a symbolic connector between the trip and daily life. I think this trip is off to a really good start and I don’t even mind the long lines and endless waiting because of the people I get to do it with. This trip will be life changing.
–Halle Gordon
And we’re off! After our group prayer, family goodbyes, and lots of pictures, we all grabbed some bagels and took some time to consider our journey. Phil asked us all to write in our journals about what we hope to gain from MOTL and what we think the purpose of life is (some casual pre-flight questions). Like everyone, my answers to both questions are complicated. Poland is sure to be a difficult week full of learning, memory, and respect. Despite knowing this when I signed up for this trip, I’m still apprehensive. It’s important to visit the sites of our group history but that doesn’t make it any less difficult. Walking through and out of the camps is a perfect way to preface our week in Israel, which will be full of light and happiness (and hummus!). Being Jewish means that we all share history, love and stories, which will surely bring our big group together during the next two weeks. Even now, on a charter bus to JFK, we’re already blasting some Cardi B and dancing together. Even though this tone will surely change once we get off the plane in Warsaw, we will bring the energy and light with us. After considering the trip to come and our group dynamic, I finally have an answer to Phil’s second question: the purpose of life is to learn as much as possible while leaving as much good with those around you as you can, a philosophy which I’ll keep with me over the next two weeks.

–Hannah Waskowitz

Cross training. Young woman exercising with dumbbells.

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