I could not reconcile these feelings

"In youth group, we were told that Palestinians had no culture, were not a people, and therefore had no stake to the land. I can see how we delegitimized them with our language. We were told that even their Arab neighbors would not accept them, so why should Israel. We were told that Israel's actions were always justified. Uncritical love for Israel was the only accepted perspective. For the last 10 years, I have struggled to find a connection to my Jewish identity because it was so tied up in being 'pro-Israel' which I haven't identified as for many years. I have felt betrayed by an organization that gave me so much from ages 12-18. I have felt like a failure for being so involved in USY and so completely uninvolved in anything Jewish in my young adulthood. Truthfully, I have kept my Jewish identity at a distance during my 20s because I could not reconcile these feelings. That is probably the opposite of USY's goal... " - USY alumna

USYSophie Trauberman