Hear from the parents and former participants:
Simon thank you. For having such a terrific program for Yoni. He choose Aardvark over so many other options because of the word on the street and the reputation. We did our due diligence and meeting you sealed the deal. He wrote us the type of text that expressed profound gratitude to us for “the trip of a lifetime. It hasn’t even really begun yet and I’m having so much fun. I just wanted to let you know that I am very thankful that you sent me to my home to grow up.” So hard for us that we won’t be giving him his Shabbat blessing... but we know he is blessed many times over with his new Aardvark family. Shabbat shalom,
While I have missed him so much, it has been of great consolation to know that he has been having such a wonderful time. Every time I have spoken to him he has sounded so happy and I know he will take home with him a life-time of happy memories. Thank you to you and all your staff for making it all happen for him.
It is not only so wonderful to have her back home, but to hear about all her amazing experiences and to see how she’s grown. Our children (especially in South Africa), are very ‘protected’. Due to circumstances they do not have the freedom that other children or teenagers enjoy. This was the first thing she loved about Israel. Being able to catch a bus from Tel Aviv back to Jerusalem at night and to walk freely in the streets. The experience of living independently in a different country with peers from different countries was an amazing opportunity, but all of this would not have been the same without your care and guidance. Thank you so much for making sure that while Jess was growing, learning and experiencing – she was happy!!
We all thought that the bar mitzvah was the transition to manhood. In our case it was James’ gap year in Aardvark! Thank you to all of you. It was a great program!
We’ve been everywhere. We’ve partied with the chassids during Simchat Torah in Tsfat. We went to understand what settlers went through in Hevron. We saw what it was like to live in a development town. We’ve visited Sderot and we’ve seen the security fence. Wherever we are politically, it’s no longer just a story. It’s real. We’ve heard all their stories. And from their stories we’ve added to our own.
I just wanted to say thank you again. I literally had the best year of my life. I hope you are successful in the years to come.
I grew up in a town with barely any Jews. Being able to spend the year in Israel was an amazing experience that made me understand my background so much better. And of course, I had a great time as well.
The way you guys know how to get into these kids hearts is amazing. Each and every year we participated in events for Israel here at LA and when Doreen used to come with us, she couldn’t wait for them to finish so she could get out of there. After all the ceremonies that Doreen attended this week, I asked her how she feels, and she said that it was the best experience of all!!! The powerful way of celebrating these holidays are only in Israel. And from this perspective, I feel that I’ve earned my Jewish daughter back, and you guys have a big part of it.
As the year “For Rachel” is winding down, I want to take a brief opportunity to thank you and your entire staff for the incredible year my daughter had. It was a tremendous growing experience for her; she learned more about herself, learned more about getting along with others and most importantly, got a larger understanding and became more “in touch” with her Jewish Identity. My heart is full for her as she is so so sad to leave and move on, but seeing Israel the way she did and doing the international travel like she did gave her a thirst for travel and discovering new things – which ALL people need I think!
I cannot express enough the gratitude I have toward the Aardvark staff for giving my son “the ultimate” year in Israel experience. I sent two of my older children to Israel on two separate programs. By the time those years came to an end, I always felt like their programs could have shown or taught them more about Israel. As I watched Aardvark’s year end slideshow, I reflected back on the year my son had in Israel thanks to you. Each week their schedule activities that were fun, exciting and educational. On the “down days” I knew he was living life in Israel, working, volunteering, shopping, taking buses etc, all the while making new friends, both inside the program and out. This was the immersion experience I had hoped my other children would have had, but sadly did not. My only regret is that this Aardvark experience like all ‘good things’, has to come to an end.
Thanks so much for your updates. It’s comforting for me to know what kinds of activities Andy is participating in. We signed up with Aardvark based more or less on instinct/hunch. So far the program has exceeded our expectations.
I have been very happy with the program and enthusiastically endorse it. I am so pleased with the quality and kinds of activities you offer on weekends, the group experiences, and the supervision. There’s enough space for the participants to feel independent and enough supervision for parents to feel their children are safe.