Over 100 World Lacrosse interns travelled to Jerusalem on Sunday to visit what is arguably one of the most religiously significant cities in the world.
Interns from countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom that are interning for the FIL World Championships held in Netanya, Israel were able to experience local food, religious sites and the Holocaust Memorial. It was a chance to appreciate one of the oldest cities in the world, with inhabitants having lived there for around 4,000 to 5,000 years. The interns are, in general, college age lacrosse enthusiasts who were looking for ways to gain experience in the sports media industry and give back to lacrosse.
The tour of Jerusalem was led by a local tour guide named Modi, who quickly became a favorite of the group and led an exceptional tour.
One of the World Lacrosse interns, Hannah Mele, said of the trip:
My trip to Jerusalem was an amazing experience. The history of the city and everything it stands for is mesmerizing. I’m not a very religious person, but after this trip I felt more connected to my faith.
Many of the World Lacrosse interns play in the Israel Premier Lacrosse League (IPLL) while at the World Games in addition to working at their internships. Many of the interns have a Jewish heritage, which meant the significance of this opportunity was not lost on them.
One of the major religious sites of in Christianity, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, was one of the places visited which is where it is said that Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and then resurrected.
Later on the trip, the interns visited the Western Wall, or the Wailing Wall as it is also known. The Western Wall is a remnant of a wall of the Jewish Temple built as a replacement to Solomon’s Temple. For both Jewish and non-Jewish interns, it was evident that it was a moment of introspection for those visiting. Largely considered to be the holiest site of Judaism, all synagogues face Jerusalem while all of the synagogues in Jerusalem face the Western Wall, as Modi explained.
I was overcome with emotion at the Western Wall as I put prayers for my loved ones in the wall. It was a moment I will remember forever.
Interns were also able to try local fare from the markets, like shawarma and falafel. They also were able to shop in local markets, which was immensely popular as they haggled for deals on local goods.
Finally, the group was able to travel to the The World Holocaust Memorial Center. As the interns began to walk through the Children’s Memorial in pitch black, names, birthdays and countries were read of all of the child victims of the Holocaust. The team of interns fell silent as they paid respect to the loss of life experienced as the significance of the moment was not lost on them. They were also able to make it to the Hall of Remembrance, another significant site at the museum. The Hall contains the Eternal Flame, at base of which the ashes of victims of the Holocaust lay to honor those who lost their lives.
I lost 49 members of my family in the holocaust. It was a lot to see what they went through. It made me wonder what my life would be like it never happened, and how people could do such horrible things.
The World Lacrosse interns can be found on Instagram at @worldlaxchampionshipinterns.