"Elad Bar Ilan discusses the history of King David during a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel Friday, January 7, 2011."

Originally, I applied for the Birthright trip associated with Goucher Hillel, but was ultimately placed on the Greater Baltimore trip with students and young professionals from around the Baltimore area.

I’ve made it pretty clear over the past several years that there’s no bigger proponent of Goucher College than myself. I love everything about the institution, and in all honesty, I was a bit disappointed to originally learn that I wouldn’t be going with my school. But I consider it a blessing that I was placed on Bus 84, the group I was with.

There’s no way the trip would have been so special if it weren’t for the leadership we had. Our tour guide and educator, Elad, was masterful in his thoroughness, humor, transitions from stop to stop, and interactive style.

We couldn’t have asked for better group leaders than Renée Goldfarb and Sarah Langert. Looking after 52 people is a huge responsibility, and the way they handled us crazy people was admirable. I’m also grateful that they always designated time for us to sit and reflect on all that we had done.

Even our bus driver, Adel, greeted us every morning with a smile and air conditioning at our request.

I like to think that this photograph represents all their hard work.