The concept of staying with strangers in a foreign country is intimidating. Concerns about being polite and respectful can hinder connection between the host and guest.
Our experience staying with Alon Peretz and his family defies this paradigm.
We bonded with Alon at the Yom Hazikaron ceremony, before we knew he was hosting us. Through a mutual love of Israel and pride in Jewish culture, a friendship formed easily. We were surprised to find we had the same tastes in music, comparable social lives, and similar family dynamics. Interaction came effortlessly. We felt accepted by the Peretz family, who fed us well and parented us as they would their own kids, in true Jewish-parenting style. We also felt accepted by Alon’s friend group, who we were fortunate to meet. Talking with his friends exposed us to many different perspectives on life in Israel, from that of a student, a future IDF soldier, an NBA lover, and many more.
Our experience with the Peretz family helped us truly immerse ourselves in Israeli life and, more importantly, formed a lasting friendship that stretches across international borders.
⁃ Jacob Mather and Elijah Zawatsky, Sycamore High School