gap year in israel

My name is Hannah Saban and I’m 20 years old. I went on the Aardvark Israel program in 2018 after graduating from a small Jewish high school in Atlanta, GA. I always struggled in school and wasn’t interested in beginning another four years of school right after I had just finished high school. I attended an Israel gap year fair and found Aardvark Israel!!

I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Going into the program, I knew zero people, and that scared me but also excited me. Within the first month of the program, I was in love with the city and the trips and the amazing people; I truly cannot say I was homesick once. Israel became my home, and the people of Aardvark Israel became my family.

While I was on Aardvark Israel, I volunteered in a preschool, as well as working with Magen David Adom, where I became certified to volunteer on the ambulances around Israel. I went on the Ethiopia trip and the Nepal trip as well, which were truly life-changing experiences. Visiting the Jewish community in Ethiopia opened my eyes and my heart in a way that I had never experienced. I truly cannot explain the feelings I have towards the people I now call my family, and I am so grateful for the experiences and opportunities Aardvark Israel gave me.

Now I am at High Point University in North Carolina, majoring in criminal justice and minoring in psychology and Jewish studies. I talk to my Aardvark friends weekly and miss them with all my heart. To everyone who made my experience what it was, I love you!! (You know who you are)–