The Poland Experience
A journey to the past to ensure a better future
The Poland Experience aims to take groups of 18 pre-draft Lone Soldiers and 6 mentors, post-service Lone Soldiers, on a seven day, fully-funded, educational excursion through the hallowed sights of Poland. Traveling to Poland and visiting prominent locations such as Auschwitz, The Warsaw Ghetto, and Majdanek, our participants will hear stories and first-hand accounts of the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives perishing by the hands of the Nazi Regime. By highlighting these heroic individuals and telling their stories we instill in our participants the obligation to represent not only Israel but also their Jewish identity as they fulfill their dreams and serve in the IDF. The journey to Poland is challenging both mentally and physically, yet we know that those who complete this expedition will be inspired to continue remembering their heritage and expand their impact onto the wider Jewish community.
The events of the Holocaust were some of the darkest in Jewish history. Stories of resistance from sites such as the Warsaw Ghetto and the Sobibor Death Camp however, are lessons of resilience in the face of death. These stories demonstrate the courage of the Jewish People during their fight for the right to exist, a fight that continues today. Pre-WWII Poland had the largest thriving Jewish community in the world. What remains can teach us valuable lessons before committing to serve and protect Israel, the Jewish homeland.
Before embarking on the meaningful, emotional, and memorable journey to Poland our participants and mentors undergo a series of seminars to prepare them for what lies ahead. Our goal during the three seminar is to provide them with tools that will help them process the difficult experience. In addition, during the seminars we instill in our community members important values like togetherness, acceptance, respect, and personal growth. Together, through team building exercises and educational sessions, the lessons and values acquired will translate into the Lone Soldiers’ military experience. The seminars are meant to set a foundation which the experience in Poland builds on, ultimately preparing the participants for a successful service in the Israel Defense Forces.
A message from a First Lieutenant
“The journey to Poland was a moving experience that has rooted me even more deeply in my Jewish identity. Together with other officers from different branches of the military we listened to the unimaginably horrific testimonies of the holocaust survivors who guided us on the journey. Walking through the landmarks that symbolize a monumental chapter in our history was touching and gave me more motivation to serve my part in protecting the Jewish nation. The strength we presented as soldiers in uniform in the land where our existence was put in danger, was powerful. I feel the journey has helped shape and bring to life my own family’s history.”
— First Lieutenant Amit (Lone Soldier in the IDF)