Testimonials

 

“The most interesting and thought-provoking trip I’ve ever done.”                             — Shayna, UC Berkeley

“For years I've wanted to have a serious conversation with other Rabbis about Israel. On Extend, our conversations were open, probing, and deep. I came away from the trip more energized to continue working for peace and committed to taking the small steps that will make a difference on the ground today. There is no substitute for being physically present and engaging in face to face conversation with people who live and work there if one wants to increase their understanding of the conflict and be an advocate for change.”                                                                                             —Rabbi Andrea London, J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair,

“Extend is the only program that does not enter with an explicit agenda, instead openly struggling to hold all of the relevant complexities together: Zionism, Palestinian statehood, civil rights, history, and more. Extend demonstrates enormous intellectual integrity by choosing the much more difficult middle path.”                     —Noah, Columbia University

"For many years, like most of us, I have grappled with the complexities of the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians. I could always read in the press the thoughts and attitudes of the of decision makers. But Extend gave me an amazingly intimate view from the ground: hours of wonderful and often difficult conversations with individuals from all points of the spectrum and all walks of life. Do I have the answers now? No. But as least I feel I more fully understand the questions."                —Rabbi Tom Weiner, Kol Ami, Westchester NY

“My tour guide made group discussions feel easy, open, and positive. Everyone had an equal opportunity to say what they wanted and when dialogue became diatribe, conflicting views were welcomed. My guide was excellent at making sure everyone had their fair chance to speak and finish their thoughts, checking in on people to make sure they were alright.”                                                                                       —Anya, McGill University

“Before joining Extend, I had met many policymakers and/or ‘experts’ who felt informed enough to write and speak extensively on the conflict though they had never spent more than a day in Ramallah. Extend quietly smashes so many of the stereotypes that dominate 'expert' opinion, instead creating a more balanced perspective that empowers young agents of change.”                                                —Jai, former White House and State Department intern

“Extend is an amazing and unique organization that provides curious young American Jews an opportunity to explore the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a way most Americans never will. Participants are exposed to a wide variety of different narratives, and everyone is encouraged to ask questions, be open-minded, and form their own opinions. What Extend does is rare but so important.”                                    —Stephanie, Wesleyan College

“Extend was the most thought-provoking four days of my past year. Nothing can substitute for the experience of hearing directly from Palestinians and Israelis. Extend created a thoughtful context for us to hear those realities directly and carry them with us back to the U.S. to use in improved work for peace, freedom, and dignity for all people in Israel and Palestine.”                                                                                   —Sarah, Harvard College

“Extend is an amazing opportunity to hear an array of voices in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. As the next generation who will be dealing with this conflict, Extend is an opportunity to engage the Jewish community in a more honest and diverse tour of Israel/Palestine.”                                                                                                        —Eliza, Bates College

“Extend gave me a real-world, on-the-ground experience that is priceless and crucial in understanding the conflict. This trip is an extremely rare opportunity.”                     —Natalie, The New School

“Extend gave me an indispensable life experience. I feel more confident in my own ideas and my ability to discuss the conflict.”                                                                  —Ella, Wesleyan College

“Extend gave me a sense of responsibility to continue engaging with the conflict, both by learning intellectually and by having an emotional and personal connection to the region.”                                                                                                                      —Haley, Tufts University

“Extend is the only experience I know of that gives a meaningful and nuanced understanding of how the occupation works and how it affects real people's.”            —Elena, Columbia University

“Extend is a model for interacting with Israel – Palestine that is sorely lacking among present options. I most appreciated the respect for my intelligence implied by exposing me to the West Bank with the mission to simply 'listen and learn.' After my Extend trip, I want to write about what I saw, speak about what I saw, and get more people to go on Extend.”                                                                                            —Rory, Harvard College

“There is no better program that advocates for a sustainable and secure Israel than Extend. It doesn’t try to hide the messy and complicated situation, but instead challenges us to become advocates for a lasting peace in the region. I found Extend to be invaluable in giving me the opportunity to meet with the people on the front lines of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and giving me the opportunity to hear the opinions of the many stakeholders. In addition, it exposed me to first-hand observation of the ‘facts on the ground,’ which is a requirement for an informed political position on U.S. policy towards Israel and Palestine.”                                    —Sam, University of Pennsylvania

“My Extend trip leader leader was great at guiding group conversations. All opinions were welcome to the table, which led to very interesting group dialogue. Our tour guide was really, really good at leading conversations and answering any questions that were asked. After being with Extend I now feel like I have a more balanced view on the situation in the Holy Land and I feel the calling to do all that I can to help.”      —Miriam, Northern Kentucky University

“My tour guide was awesome in encouraging dialogue without pushing for a certain opinion. In the West Bank with Extend I discovered my Jewish identity: an identity that understands the necessity of promoting communication, understanding, and human rights.”                                                                                                                       —Ashley, University of North Carolina

“Speaking directly with a Palestinian who had been attacked by the Israeli army or a settler who had been shot at by Palestinians was entirely different from talking with or reading articles written by people far removed from the day-to-day conflict in the West Bank. Barbed wire and armed soldiers checking passports look and feel different in real life and seeing Palestinians' and settlers' homes brings their struggles to life. Even when I saw or heard exactly what I expected—and that wasn't always the case—seeing and hearing for myself was an important experience."                                      —Omer, Carnegie Melon University

“Extend did three important things for me. First, it gave me details of how the occupation actually works: how does law work in the West Bank? Physical movement? Social services? Second, it made me start taking hard looks at myself: how have I not wondered about these specific questions––and how can my membership in the American Jewish community be better informed now by a more nuanced understanding? Finally, it gave me human connections to life in Israel and Palestine. It moved me from an abstract image of'conflict' to a visceral respect for the people I met who are struggling so hard for a better Israel-Palestine. Together, these elements committed me to fight more fiercely for peace and for the spiritual liberation of my own people.”                                                                                                              —Gabe, Tufts University

"Extend changed my perspective in a positive and profound way. No true peace will exist until people from all sides forget their fear and learn to respect one another's basic human rights.”                                                                                                   —Elliot, Earlham College

“Extend was one of the most intellectually challenging and emotionally satisfying experiences of my life.”                                                                                              —David, University of Oxford