MTA celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut with an exciting chagiga, featuring live music and dancing. Talmidim and rebbeim rejoiced together as they honored Israel’s declaration of independence. Following the celebration, everyone participated in a conversation with MTA alum Matthew Albert (‘17), who described his experience making aliyah and drafting into the IDF, where he serves in a special forces unit in Mishmar Hagvul—the Israel Border Police.
Albert discussed how participating in MTA’s Makor Chaim Israel Exchange Program made a tremendous impact on his love for Eretz Yisrael. He also talked about the strong foundation MTA provided him with, which helped him endure the challenges he faced during his IDF training. Matthew shared a story about a particularly grueling training exercise that took place around Purim, which made him feel like giving up. Just when he had reached his breaking point, a van pulled up with mishloach manot for the soldiers and a big sign that read “Chag Sameach! With Gratitude From Yeshiva University High School For Boys,” organized by the Meir Mishkoff a”h Mishloach Manot Campaign. The mishloach manot initiative was started by MTA alum Eytan Mishkoff (‘06) in memory of his father, Meir a”h (‘75), who ran a 20-year Purim campaign supplying mishloach manot to IDF soldiers. Talmidim were inspired by his story and encouragement to follow in his footsteps and become Jewish communal leaders.