Live, from the Maccabiah Games!

Every year, the FZY & Young Judaea Maccabiah Games are one of the highlights of FZY Israel Tour. At the opening ceremony, three wonderful FZYniks spoke about their experiences of the summer so far. Here, you can read about what Shana Winston, Annabel Tragen and Lauren Zeffert had to say...

Shana Winston, Leeds (FZY Tour Two, 2018)

If you had asked me about FZY Israel tour before I left, and what I thought I would do, I would probably have said: "Sure, I'm excited," and of course, we would explore the world heritage sites, and, obviously, I would be trying something entirely different from my day to day life back home.

But never could I have imagined it would be such a powerful experience.

With FZY Tour Two, we marched blindfolded into the Kotel Plaza together, to have the most important place in the Jewish world unveiled before our eyes. With Tour Two, we bargained and haggled in the markets together, trading bubble gum and sweets up for fish heads and spices and pickles. With Tour Two, we played with the inspirational and incredible children at Save a Child's Heart together... I’ve seen a side of Israel that I could never have imagined; I’ve learnt so much, and had so many unrepeatable, unforgettable experiences.

We started off as forty-one nervous wrecks at Stanmore Shul, trying, yet mostly failing, to make small talk. And now, we are one big family who laugh together, sing together and grow together. Looking back, Israel tour would not be the same without a single member of Tour Two, even Yoav’s monkey. Is it pink? Is it purple? I’ll let the Maccabiah judges decide for us.


I didn’t know I could have such a deep connection to another country, to another land and to another people, before I came on Israel Tour. So many times, I’ve been left utterly dumbstruck and inspired by what I’ve seen here.

Anyone that’s been on FZY Israel Tour has stories about Maccabiah. Stories of triumph, of victory, of sportsmanship. We’ve all spent so long preparing for today, for these amazing games. I know this will be one of the highlights of tour.

Some people may scoff, and ask why we get so excited over just a sports day. But Maccabiah is so much more than that. It’s a huge coming together of people from all over, with both Young Judaea and FZY participating in a giant shared experience of culture, sport, and education. I can’t believe that I’m standing in front of you all today at the 2018 Maccabiah games, it’s so exciting to start the games, to compete against other tours, to experience the amazing atmosphere. It’s truly exhilarating to be here. Thank you everyone, good luck, drink lots of water, and GO TOUR TWO TROLLS!

Annabel Tragen, Manchester (FZY Tour Four, 2018)

Hi, I am Annabel Tragen from FZY Tour Four Spongebobs!

FZY has been a part of my family for as long as I can remember.

My brother, cousins and now me have all followed in the path set by my mum who went on FZY Israel tour in 1987. Having made such amazing friends and memories on FZY Kesher (Summer Camp) over the last two years, my expectations were set very high for tour.

Now, I can honestly say that tour has lived up to and exceeded these expectations.