Jordan Barpal

Naval Officer in the US Navy

Alumnus of IGF Session 8, 2013-2014

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Following IGF, I joined the U.S. Navy. While it may seem an unexpected next step following IGF, I trace my decision entirely to my time in Israel and seeing the sense of duty amongst its citizens. IGF afforded me amazing experiences that at once brought me great pride in my Israeli heritage, and reaffirmed my desire to go back home and better my own country.

IGF provided opportunities, experiences, forums in which to explore one's own understanding and worldview. By having that opportunity to explore, I was able to see how much more was really out there, and therefore did not need to pursue such conventional paths.

The complexities of the challenges facing Israel cannot be understood from afar -- not through the media, not through academic textbooks, and not from foreign activist groups. The only way to understand the political, social, religious, and geographical issues facing the region is to observe and study them up close. IGF was the best possible avenue by which to gain those insights.                         

I sought IGF with the primary intention of furthering myself professionally. While it certainly paid professional dividends upon my return to the U.S., IGF's greatest impact on me was unquestionably personal. Those ten months were filled with one adventure after the next, each one unique, and each one giving me a far greater sense of what it was that inspired and motivated me.

 

IGF is unlike any other program offered, providing insights, experiences, and connections with Israel that you can't possibly get anywhere else in 10 months.