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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Terminal Two at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport was filled with plenty of cheer Wednesday as dozens of South Florida high school students, who spent the summer in Israel, returned home.

A group of 30 students were the last group of about 100 local students to come home from Israel after a day long delay getting back from a six week trip to Israel.

The students were in Israel as fighting between Hamas and Israel escalated. Air raid sirens and running to bomb shelters was part of their summer routine.

“I miss Israel but it’s nice to finally be on American soil, not have to worry about any bomb alarms anymore or anything,” said Shira Lazarus, a student.

Lazarus said, and many of the other students agreed, that despite the unrest they felt safe during their time in Israel.

“It’s nervous for you at first but you get used to it,” said Robbi Coltune.

Click here to WATCH CBS4’s Ted Scouten’s report

Donna Salzman’s twin teens went on the trip said the summer was like nothing they ever experienced.

“They’re finally home! They landed safe and sound,” said Salzman.

Running for cover while on their trip, these students learned first-hand what many people in other parts of the world do often—it’s a part of their life.

“It was crazy, it was hectic, everyone was crying, everyone was scared but then you just get used to it,” said Sam Salzman.

While the summer program aims to help Jewish teens learn more about their heritage and roots, it also taught them very valuable life lessons—things they would never have learned in a classroom.

“It makes you so appreciative for the little things that you have and it just makes you so much more grateful,” said Lindsay Salzman.

Lazarus agreed, she said the trip made her feel “very privileged to live in America.”


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