Noam is a 27 year old Israeli student from Haifa who studied international politics at the London City University. She was also on the Olive Tree Program. Noam writes that she grew up as the only child in the kibbutz and that is where she fell in love with books and had special permission from the local librarian to take home her special books. She recalls her grandparents who were war refugees and remembers their ‘sense of obligation and detachment’.
She went to study at a High school in Hong Kong and that changed her life. She could embrace being different, being Israeli and Jewish, being a lover of learning and literature. “It was suddenly Ok to aspire to something bigger.” In High School, she also met her first Palestinian, and began taking a lead with Palestinian students in establishing a Middle East initiative.
Noam is an accomplished writer and artist and is working on a cartoon/graphic novel on the story of one of her fellow classmates in the Olive Tree program, and her journey home to Gaza.” It is a story that must be told,” says this young Israeli, because “It only takes one story to change things.” Noam grew up indifferent to her religious heritage but studying abroad has made her much more invested in understanding Jewish culture and history, and she has spent a summer studying the topic in Berlin and hopes to go on to post-graduate work in this area. She served in the IDF and achieved the rank of platoon commander.