I was born in Laguna Beach on November 20, 1983 with a few inalienable rights.
Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the opportunity to take an all expenses paid trip to Israel between the ages of 18 and 26.
Though I’ve debatably enjoyed the first three, at the age of 28 it seems that I have missed my window to that last one.
Granted, my parents kind of blew it when they sent me there (all expenses paid by them) at 16.
And while I would certainly have an entirely new perspective as an adult, I can’t imagine that the scheduled activities would be that much different from when I was a teenager.
See some holy sites, walk around in nature, rub some mud on myself and of course ride a camel.
Only this time with alcohol.
This is not to diminish the experience. Indeed such programs have a matter of days to show the entirety of the holy land and moreover have proven to be absolutely transformative to those who participate. Rather I’m pointing out that though the backgrounds of the people who attend them are far ranging, the trip itself has become iconic. Ritualistic in its own right. A snapshot for young Americans of what its like to live in a Jewish state.
I wonder what it would be like if the situation were reversed. What if the Jewish community spent millions of dollars flying young Israelis to Los Angeles to give them an ‘authentic Los Angeles Jewish experience’ what would that look like?
Perhaps a visit to the studio heads?
Then maybe a jaunt to a Whole Foods in the Valley.
Pastrami at Langers.
A walk around Pico Robertson
Then off to a JDate mixer.
And though we don’t have camels in the desert, traffic on the 405 is equally as hot, slow and uncomfortable.