I come from a “Catholic” family but my parents are non-practicing and always told me when I was old enough to make a decision, I can decide what religion I want to follow. Having been brought up in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, most of my friends growing up were Jewish and I always heard about their holidays & traditions. I always felt like I was missing something, and had more of a sense of belonging with Judaism than any other religion. About 2 years ago, I thought about converting and decided to do some research. I found a synagogue close to my work that offered the courses, and I jumped into it. I did the courses over the 1 year and finally converted in May 2018 which was the best decision I ever made. I feel like I am finally part of a community that I actually fit into. Having converted, I never thought applying to Birthright was a possibility but my Rabbi suggested it to me, saying it would be a great way to really find and solidify my conversion and get to know Israel! As soon as registration was open, I applied and convinced my boyfriend to apply as well since he had never done it.
Luckily we both got accepted and went on the trip and it was the best experience. I don’t think we would have seen and experienced everything we did, had we simply gone there on our own. The Birthright trip really taught me so much & truly made me fall in love with Israel! To my surprise – my boyfriend ended up proposing to me near the end of the trip, at the Kotel of all places! Not only did I already feel like Israel had a special place in my heart but this solidified it. I’m beyond happy I went on this journey and I already can’t wait to go back to Israel! #humansofcie
– Stephanie Carle