Rachel Marie Markhoff
Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, I was provided with a perfect childhood and loving family. After graduating high school, I had the opportunity of living in Jerusalem, Israel and participating as a member of Kivunim, an international gap year program. Kivunim students study Hebrew, Arabic, World Cultures, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Through our World Cultures class, we traveled to ten countries to be immersed in global cultures and religions. Most importantly, we got to see “the other” and how humans around the world are really not that different.
From the banks of the Ganges River, to the peaks of the Himalayan mountains, I have grown to appreciate the different corners of the earth and the beautiful human beings that inhabit it. Although we may speak different languages, and have different customs, we all hope for the same thing. We hope for L’dor V’dor, from generation to generation. We hope for peace, the well being of our children, and the continuation of values we deem important.
The Kotel, or Western Wall, is one of the most sacred spots in Judaism because it’s the only remains of the original temple built over 3,000 years ago. Last April was the first opportunity for my mother and I to be in Jerusalem together. Together — we visited the Kotel. A privilege that our ancestors wished to do for thousands of years. Last year we held our hand on the wall, L’dor v’dor, from generation to generation.