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Birthright Winter 2020: Mitch Gerhardt

We all find refuge in habituation - of routine and indecision. It's comfort, I guess, that makes me want Chipotle despite other, arguably better, options. Wandering Dulles, however, it's hard to escape the reality that a few hours separate you from Israel - a refuge itself, though of a different decree.

So this trip is a step outside my norm - traveling to a new country with people I've never traveled with. Yet, as the newly-elected President of Hillel I'm faced with the reality that despite these concerns, I'm traveling to grow both as a leader, as a person, and as a Jew, which is my singular goal this upcoming year - to support, foster, and develop the Jewish experience and community at Virginia Tech.

The trouble is failing to risk anything is often more a risk itself. This experience, for each of us, is what we make of it. However, by simply breaking habits and putting our concerns on the wayside - by taking a chance - we will be, certainly and inextricably changed forever.

-Mitch Gerhardt

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