“How Israel changes me”
When Kevin Nafte first came to Israel, he was deeply impressed by the country. Growing up in South Africa and Australia in a Jewish Family and with a strong religious believe, he decided to move to the country he always carried in his heart. Like many other people he considered Israel his home, eventhough he did not live there. That was nearly 5 years ago. Meanwhile, Kevin has settled down in Tel Aviv. A city that inspires him in a way that no other city did before. A city which also did something to his believe: “The way I express my Judaism has changed. In a way it became less. I think it is because in Australia and South Africa Jewish holidays and rituals were only shared by a small group. Here the laws of Judaism are stilled into everyday life“, he says.
For young immigrants living the Jewish believe does not mean to be different anymore. Especially in Tel Aviv being religious suddenly means to go with the flow. That can strengthen the religious togetherness. Or weaken it. Or just give it another direction.
“Living in Tel Aviv, my Judaism is more expressed through my Zionism. And for me my Zionism is to come to Israel and help people who are like myself to come here, too.” The lively, diverse, beautiful and sometimes rough city by the sea made a huge impact on Kevin’s life. He loves to be part of a community that is constantly on the move, never stands still. “The city a testing-pool for young, creative people. A kind of laboratory where everybody tries out his way of life and ideas and at the same time works together for a common goal. For a better country or even a better world”.
Experimenting in this huge think tank by the sea, Kevin found his very own way of expressing his believe in Israel: Through peace projects to enhance the understanding between Palestinians and Israelis. He got involved with a project of the Peres Peace Center, in which a football team comprising Israeli and Palestinian athlets compete against other teams from the whole world.“Being a part of this project was just amazing. For me it was my little piece to peace in the lower east.”
Kevin’s wish for the future is to become active in more projects like that. He wants to embrace the new perspectives which living in Israel gives to him. He is ready to live the change. And he is ready to give a lot in return.