As a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip organizer
, Hillel has sent over 50,000 students on free trips to Israel. Each year, Hillels around the world recruit students to register for their opportunity to visit Israel, and each campus does this in a unique way. When registration opened for trips in winter 2012, Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach in Florida
knew they had a great recruiting tool: their own very talented students!
Here's what Abraham and Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach Israel Engagement Internship Supervisor Hadar Raveh had to say about creating the video:
At Broward and Palm Beach Hillel, our students know how to use their passion for Jewish life to market great experiences like Taglit-Birthright Israel to other students.
In this case, Austin came up with the lyrics for the song, writing pieces of it before, during, and after his Taglit-Birthright Israel trip, all based on his own personal experience. When Abraham joined our effort, we were thrilled, since he is such a great filmmaker. Jessy is new to Hillel, and we were first introduced to her voice during a Shabbat Kiddush Service, when she sang beautifully in front of all the new students at our first Shabbat dinner of the year. After that... magic was made!
Abraham writes:"I spent a month in Israel over the summer, and when Hadar asked me how it was, I could only respond with: "Amazing. Amazing. Amazing." I had more passion and fire inside me for the state of Israel than I could ever imagine possible. When Hadar asked me to make a music video of a song she and Austin Morgan had written in Israel, I was worried that I wouldn't have the time to be able to film and edit it. However, I couldn't say no. I promised I would do it, and that it would be my best work yet.
I met Austin in June during an Israel Advocacy video seminar in Boston run by The David Project. I knew he was passionate about video production and film, like me, but I didn't know he was a rapper. When Hadar sent me the draft video Austin created to show me the song I was amazed at the lyrical talent he had. I met Jessy in Hillel on the second day of school, and we instantly clicked because of our Hispanic roots; she is from Argentina and I am from Mexico. Hadar knew we could make this work. Jessy would sing the chorus, Austin would rap, and I would make the video.
I edited between classes, at the dinner table, and during long nights. There wasn't a lot of time, and it had to get done. At 4 AM the day before Taglit-Birthright Israel registration opened, the video was finally finished. I couldn't believe it! In less than two weeks, we had created an awesome music video while in school, without missing classes, while juggling our other responsibilities. I'm grateful I was able to work with such amazing talent and people. Austin, Jessy, and I became awesome friends and will continue to make more music videos in the near future.
Learn more about Taglit-Birthright Israel: Hillel trips at http://www.freeisraeltrip.org.