gap year in israel

We just finished our final week of the semester here in Jersualem! Our week was full of cleaning, Hannukah celebration and saying goodbye to the Madrichim and students who were only staying for one semester.

Sunday Morning, a few of our students, Celeste Williams, Keren Kaynan, Tess Bernstein went to volunteer at the Alin Children’s Hospital in Jerusalem. They went around playing fun games with the children who were in the hospital. It was really amazing and fulfilling to see the kids smile when they had people come to visit. Kol Hakavod to them!

Tuesday morning, we set off for our Final Lunch and tour at the IDC (Interdisciplinary School) in Hertzilya. At our lunch, we had good food and good times closing the semester. Hannah Sinyor spoke about our semester and reminisced on the good and the challenging sides of the semester as well as what she took and learned from her semester in Jerusalem. After Lunch, we went to IDC to tour around and see what they have to offer. IDC is a university in Hertzliya where a lot of Lone Soldiers, Olim Chadashim and Aardvark Alumni end up at after they finish their army service, make Aliyah or finish Aardvark. They have a whole international school with classes in English and it was really cool to see their campus and what facilities they have for their students.

Tuesday evening, we went to Natali’s house to celebrate Channukah! She invited the students to come and have dinner and celebrate Chanukah and look back at the semester. Natali was amazing and surprised everyone with an enormous amount of Sushi and for desert Strawberries. No one left hungry at all. After we ate, we went around the room saying our Thorns(Bad thing) and Roses(Good thing) from the semester. It was very funny and emotional to look back and see what we all have been through this semester!

Wednesday was cleaning and packing day! All of our students worked very hard to clean their apartments and pack up all of their clothes to either go back home for next semester or to continue on Aardvark in Tel Aviv. It was a very long day with lots and lots of hard work but in the end, we finished tired but excited for what is to come.

Thursday was our final day here on Aardvark Jerusalem for the First Semester of the 2016-2017 year! We sent our students off to the airport/family/friends for winter break and said goodbye to everyone. It was a very emotional day with lots of hugs and goodbyes but it was nice knowing that when we will look back on this semester, we will remember lots of great people and great times.

This week, all-in-all was an emotional roller coaster with lots of ups and downs saying goodbye to everyone, reminiscing on nostalgic moments and finishing up our semester with our Final Lunch and Final Meetings with the Madrichim. It was such an amazing semester and we are so happy to be a big part of the students’ time and experience here in Jerusalem! We wish them good luck for next semester or for whatever new chapter they are opening!