Welcome to the UUJME Young Adult Travel Blog!

In early 2014, UUJME began offering scholarships to young adult UUs, age 18-35, for travel to Israel-Palestine.  We asked each scholarship applicant to create a travel proposal as either a self-designed trip or as part of an existing delegation.  We also asked them to plan post-trip outreach in their UU and local communities, including blogging for this or other blogs.  Scholarship winners were chosen based on how their travel proposals furthered UUJME's charter and goals. 

In addition, one of the co-leaders of the UUJME Human Rights Delegation to Israel-Palestine in 2015 is a young adult, Rosie McInnes.

These blog entries are written by our young adult travelers.  Note that some entries might be posted under a pseudonym until the author's travel has been completed.  Whenever this is the case, we will make note of it.

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Return to blog summaries

UUJME Young Adult Travel Blog


On Resilience and Hope

Aug 29 2015

I speak decent Arabic, so one of my favourite activities in a new city is to sit in a cafe and talk with random people. It helps me practice my Arabic and I get to know a new person. While sitting in this cafe, I met a young guy around my age and we started talking. After our long conversation, he invited me to his house for dinner with his family. I gladly accepted and I was at his house on the outskirts of Ramallah later that evening. 

Israeli Colonial Settlement

Aug 25 2015
Today was a very intense day. We visited the Israeli colonial settlement of Efrat, very close to Bethlehem. Our speaker was an American man from New York. His parents are first generation immigrants from Germany who escaped after the Second World War. He is the only of his siblings to live in Israel. He has four kids, three of whom have served in the IDF and another who is currently in a military academy to extend their service. One of my first impressions of entering the settlement was one of exclusion.

The Three Times I Was Afraid in the Holy Land

Aug 22 2015

People expected I would be afraid of the Palestinians. The opposite is true. A travel blog from Abigail Clauhs, one of the UU young adults who joined UUJME's recent Human Rights Delegation to Israel and Palestine. 

A crime to walk down your own street

Aug 20 2015
We visited the city of الخليل (Hebron) today. This is a very tense city, wherein 20% of the population consists of Israeli settlers. Hebron is often called a microcosm of the conflict because the situation can change so quickly and without provocation. It personifies many of the issues that characterize this conflict. 

Building for a post-occupation future

Aug 18 2015
We had the opportunity to visit the Palestine Museum of Natural History under the leadership of Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh. Dr. Qumsiyeh is an accomplished medical geneticist and human rights activist. He calls for a "global intifada," with global support for the Palestinian cause. Ultimately, he believes that, although Palestinians have justice and truth on their side, they need more wide-spread global support to achieve their goals.

Empowering Palestinians and BDS

Aug 18 2015
On August 16, my group visited the village of Bil'in, just half an hour outside of Ramallah, our home base. It is internationally known for protests against the Israeli occupation, having been featured in the documentary, 5 Broken Cameras. Bil'in is a small village of only 1,800 people. However, Israeli colonial settlements with populations many times its size have been popping up over the past few years.

Introduction: Abigail Clauhs

Aug 17 2015

An introduction from one of the recipients of UUJME's Young Adult Travel Scholarship, Abigail Clauhs, who recently returned from UUJME's Human Rights Delegation to Israel and Palestine.  

Trouble at the border

Aug 16 2015

My first day of travel to Ramallah was quite stressful. I left my friend's home in Amman, Jordan to catch a bus to the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge Border Crossing.  At the crossing, there are a complicated set of interactions in which all travelers are required to partake.  However, the real stress came when I entered passport control. 

An introduction before traveling to Palestine

Aug 12 2015

My name is Ian Snyder, and I'm a recent college grad. I studied international relations and Arabic in a small liberal arts college in the United States.  I will be traveling to Palestine August 14 – August 31 with an organisation called Youth Unravels Crisis, a new educational project for students to learn more about the occupation of historic Palestine. I hope to use this opportunity to speak with activists on the ground in Palestine.

Another UU Young Adult Blogger Named Rosie~Some Thoughts on Privilege

Aug 08 2015
Hi! My name is Rosie Cohen and I’m a sophomore at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, but I’m originally from Washington, DC. I received the UUJME Young Adult Travel Scholarship to participate in the May 2015 Interfaith Peace-Builders delegation to Israel/Palestine. Interfaith Peace-Builders is a group that sends delegations to Israel/Palestine several times a year which focus on both Israeli and Palestinian nonviolent activism.