Simon Family Passport to Israel: Nathan Prince soaks in Israel experience

The Israel trip was an experience of a lifetime! A couple of reasons why I chose to be a part of the Journey 5 trip to Israel was to make new connections and experience historical and culturally important areas in my homeland. Growing up Jewish was not an easy one. In some places in America, they say you should tuck your chain in with the Jewish star, hamza, and chai. I don’t believe in people tucking their chains in so I feel like, in Israel, Jews should feel connected to their ancestors and have a sense of well-being. I tried to get more of the guys to untuck their chains because they should never be afraid of who they are.

The trip, although three short weeks, was enough time to make close connections with other like-minded people. One of my favorite days was when all of us went on the jeep tour. This meant a lot to me because our tour guide was very passionate about the history of the route. I was also in the coolest jeep that went first both ways, and we learned about the Syrians and the different types of mines the IDF uses.

I loved the Israeli food and how short driving everywhere was. Besides drivers going on sidewalks and ones that honk less than a second after the light turns green, Israel was a pretty interesting place. We spent a couple of nights in Netanya and the beach was so nice and had the perfect lighting for pictures during golden hour. Another place that I thoroughly enjoyed inside and out was visiting the Old City of Jerusalem. I got to try my first genuine falafel (it was amazing) and one of my best friends got his first chain and pendant while we were in Israel. I would recommend this trip to rising juniors and seniors.

Nathan Prince traveled to Israel with funding from the Tidewater Jewish Foundation’s Simon Family Passport to Israel Program. The next round of applications opens on October 1, 2021.

By Nathan Prince

For more information, visit, contact Ann Swindell, TJF Donor Relations and Grant Manager, at or 757-965-6106.