gap year in israel

Check out our social media to see what our students have been up to this past week!

My name is Maya Fried, and I was born and raised to Israeli parents in Los Angeles. Weird thing is, they never took me to visit the country they called home for half of their lives, and so upon graduating high school I made the trek from the city of stars to the land of milk and honey by way of Aardvark Israel. Suffice it to say it was the biggest, best, most important experience of my life. I wouldn’t be half the woman I am now without it.

I taught English at a high school in Jerusalem and a trade school for troubled youth in Tel Aviv. I traveled the country with my fellow Aardvarks and took classes on psychology, Zionism, and the history of the state my grandparents helped to build upon escaping the Holocaust. I found myself in the stones my mother used to lay on, sunning in her hometown, and in the university walls my father studied in, not knowing he’d end up in America. I found myself in the Israelis that took me in as their daughter, cousin, girlfriend, best friend, and teacher.

Since then, I graduated from the University of Southern California with a double major in Philosophy, Politics & Law and Creative Writing. Today I work for the Washington Insitute for Near East Policy as a development associate, bringing the Middle East to the West Coast, cause beach bums care about foreign policy in the region, too! (Hence Tel Aviv…)

Long live Aardvark. With love, xoxo – Maya