Jacob Babbin-Returned to Israel in May of 2024 during the Gaza war, by Jacob

By July 8, 2024 NVLD Bloggers

My name is Jacob Babbin. I am 33. And I have Non Verbal Learning Difference I wrote my first blog on this website a few years ago. I went to Israel on Birthright in March of 2022. I returned from Israel on June 3rd, 2024. I am nearing the end of my conversion to Judaism, the Reform movement. I have become a part of two wonderful Reform Temples/Synagogues here in Florida.

My journey to Israel was amazing! I was so prepared for this journey. I accomplished many things on my own and created my own experiences. I chose a company called Authentic Israel and the company was amazing!!! During the tour, they created many times for us to make our own experiences and yes, I was the youngest participant ha-ha. It was like traveling with family. I broke off mainly during lunch and in the mornings and would do my own thing. Our guide Irad Fenical felt like family.

During our stay in Jerusalem, there were evacuees in our hotel.
I went to the lobby every morning early to talk with people and see what was going on.

One morning I started speaking with a woman from Northern Israel
and she asked what is your name?
I answered Jacob.

She said your mother gives you a good name.
She then asked how old are you?
I answered 33.

She said are you married?
I answered no I am not.

She said OK so you have nothing holding you back in the States I can introduce you to a woman or you meet a woman you move to Israel and then you can introduce me to her.

This was a very cool experience it felt very warm. Towards the end of this conversation my tour guide Irad came down and started speaking with her in Hebrew she pointed in my direction and said he is a munch. I recognized that word. Irad said wow you make friends quickly Jacob and we laughed. Later I asked Irad what she said, and he replied she wanted you to move to Israel.

I signed up to return to Israel with this company Authentic Israel in May of 2025. I have two goals to accomplish for my next journey. First, I want to return to Israel once my conversion to the Reform movement is complete. Secondly, I want to see Tzfat/Safed. Of course, I cannot control the second goal as that is not in my control and is dependent on how the war goes.

Since writing my first blog for this website I have been to Ireland as my Mother is Irish and I have been to Prague and now I completed my second journey to Israel. Thank you for reading my story. And I hope this helps anyone else with NVLD to understand with enough preparation they can travel the world and learn new things and learn about history as I have and am doing. Please do not ever doubt yourself!

I created a 20-minute movie about my journey in Israel.

Please feel free to watch:


My name is Jacob Babbin. I am 33.  I have NVLD.