18th birthday gifts donated to BJE

May 1, 2016 by Catherine de Picarda
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A Victorian teenager has donated all the money he received on his 18th birthday to NSW’s Board of Jewish Education.

Josh David at the Kotel

Josh Davis at the Kotel  Photo: Josh Davis

BJE’s Emet Israel Programme has enriched many lives over the years – especially Melbourne student, Josh Davis.

In fact the tender-hearted teen was so touched by the cultural six-week trip to the holy land two years ago, he has decided to donate his 18th birthday gifts to the NSW Board of Jewish Education!

Speaking to a crowd of over 70 people at BJE’s annual EIP Information night held at Melbourne’s Beth Weizmann Community Centre on Monday, Josh’s proud mum Lisa explained how her son came back from the popular programme with a renewed sense of pride in his heritage.

“It was funny because at first Josh was a little reticent to go, given a school trip to France was also on the cards. But we gave him a little nudge and off he went,” says Lisa.

Josh Davis Photo: Josh Davis

Josh Davis Photo: Josh Davis

“Josh came back saying how the BJE Emet Israel Programme was the most amazing thing he’d ever done. My son has always been in touch with his Jewish roots, but the trip really gave him a sense of who he is and where he comes from. He also made real friends, who to this day he calls his ‘other family’.”

And now, generous Josh – who plans to study Business after finishing his VCE – wants to help give other kids the same life-changing opportunity in Israel that he had.

“There was one particular moment where we were all on top of this mountain on our way to Masada where everything changed for me,” recalls Josh. “I was sitting there looking out over the Dead Sea and Jordan, and that was the moment I really realised I was in Israel. It was an unbelievable experience and one that every Jewish kid should go on if they can. To follow the same path generations did before us thousands of years ago… It’s an unbelievable experience.”


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