By: Melanie Wisener, PhD Student at McGill University

I have had the privilege and pleasure of going on two missions to the beautiful, holy, and special land of Israel with JNF Canada. 

Last year on JNF Canada’s mission for university students (JNFU), I learned about and visited the different projects JNF Canada has initiated to care for the land of Israel. This mission allowed me to experience Israel through a different lens and connect with other Canadian university students who also love and support Israel. It also introduced me to JNFU’s director, Anna Kos, who educated me so much about Israel and served as a role model for Zionism throughout the trip. 

Melanie while in Jerusalem

Like Anna and many of the other students on the mission, Israel is where I feel most at home and know in my soul I belong. When I am here, I feel most connected to myself, Gd, and I know I am elevating the souls of my grandparents in heaven, who were huge lovers and supporters of Israel and JNF, and fulfilling the dreams of my great-grandparents, two of which who perished in the Holocaust, of living in a land for the Jewish people. 

This year I continued my learning by joining JNF’s International Young Leadership delegation, where I learned more about JNF’s involvement in the country and visited their sites alongside other young Israel-loving leaders from around the world. Like the JNFU mission, I was blessed that this one was also full of fun, memorable experiences, and dear, sweet friends. 

I feel so proud to be a part of JNF and thankful to have had the opportunity to participate in these two missions, and look forward to taking all that I learned back to Canada with me. 

Thank you Anna, JNFU, and JNF Canada for two missions worth of learning and beautiful memories, and for taking me back home.