[by Michael Klein]
Josh Roberts is a graduate of the University of Louisville with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a concentration in the natural sciences. He is now continuing his learning in Israel.
Roberts is participating in a program called Desert Sports Challenge in Nitzana located in southern Israel, on the border with Egypt.
Nitzana is an educational community that hosts thousands of Israeli youth each year. The Desert Sports Challenge is a five-month program that is part of the Jewish Agency’s Masa Israel offerings.
Roberts said, “Everyone I know who has been to Israel has absolutely loved it, so I wanted to go myself, serve my time, and actually be in Israel, like many Jews do.”
Roberts chose this program because “I learn Hebrew and tour Israel for half the year while being extremely active and seeing everything that Israel has to offer.” He is studying Hebrew three times a week in a class given by The Ministry of Education.
The program also enabled him to tour Israel while participating in various sports including: running, swimming, mountain biking, rappelling, scuba diving in the Red Sea, off-roading and navigation/desert survival. Roberts is also looking forward to experiencing Israeli culture and visiting historic places and sites along the way.
When he has a weekend off, Roberts travels to various cities around Israel. He also noted, “with rappelling and scuba diving, if you pass the tests at the end, you get internationally certified.” Participants will also learn some basic life saving skills.
One thing that drew Roberts to the program is someone from Special Forces will be teaching him navigation training and desert survival. “I am interested in serving, that excites me,” says Roberts.
Roberts is from Louisville and is a member of Anshei Sfard. As a student at UofL, he was a member of Hillel and participated in events with Chabad of Kentucky. He also took some Hebrew classes at the university.
Roberts has worked as an EMT and volunteered in many places while living in Louisville. He also worked at the Kentucky Humane Society.