My Israel — Itay Ozer

earth

This is our planet earth.

This small space over here is Israel. Although Israel is small, it has a great impact on the entire world. What do these words mean to you — USB drives, drip irrigation, and solar-powered hot water heaters? To me, they speak to having pride in your country. But now I will tell you what being Israeli means to me.

To be Israeli is to love your country, to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces, and to be faithful to the country — that’s what it means to be Israeli.

To celebrate the holidays together with your family, and the quiet of Friday evening as Shabbat arrives.

To be Israeli is to hear the songs, the stories and our history; to be opinionated and to insist on your rights — that’s being Israeli.

To eat shawarma, felafel, borekas, jahnun, with extra hummus on the side. To deal with daily challenges and hidden dangers around every corner.

And the most Israeli thing — is to travel abroad and to applaud when you land and feel at home when you return.

And always, above all else, to think about what you can do for your country.

I, Itay Ozer, a young citizen, in a small country, in a large world, am proud to be a citizen of the state of Israel.

By Itay Ozer, 5th grade student at Kaplan Elementary School in Petah Tikva

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About the Author
Rachel Amrani is the Director of the Young Ambassadors School in Petah Tikva, a unique youth leadership program run by the Petah Tikva Municipality in conjunction with the Ministry of Education. The goal of the program is to create, empower and support a new generation of young leaders, with all of the knowledge, skills and experience to successfully contribute to their own society, and to represent Israel abroad.
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