gap year in israel

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

Shalom Parents!

I cannot believe the semester is over…I feel like I just met the students yesterday. They were a little confused and very excited, and full of questions:

“Why am I not alone in a bedroom?”

“Where do I do my laundry?”

“Why do I have to get up in the morning for volunteering?”

“Is this activity mandatory?”

“How do Israelis clean the floors without a mop?!?”

WOW, they have grown up a lot since then! The students have created amazing relationships with their roommates, they have no problem with laundry or cleaning their floors with a squeegee and a rag, and they feel so comfortable here you’d think they were locals! The madrichim have seen the difference as well now that they aren’t dealing with a lot of questions about “Where” and “How” and rather spending their time with the students talking about deeper, more educational questions and ideas.

Here is a glimpse of what we had on our last week of Fall semester 2016…

On Monday evening, each madrich gathered his students for an intimate closing activity. The staff used the stage for giving each student a personal goodbye. Elad brought Jachnun (a Yemeni food), notebooks and pens. Each student wrote to his/her friends something about their time together ( a funny experience, a meaningful gathering, etc.) Naama was also accompanied by Jachnun (they eat healthier in food usually). She framed an apartment picture (one of many great photographs) and wrote something nice to each of them. Then they were sitting and chatting about everything until the middle of the night.

On Tuesday, for our last (close to normal) week, we went for a short tour at the IDC international school in Herzliya. Two of our former Aardvark students, Ornella Siso and Brook Adler, who began studying there this year and the year before, met there with the group and toured them around the the campus.
Before the tour, we went together with the Jerusalem group for lunch in a nice restaurant in Herzeliya. The goal was to summarize the semester and say goodbye to the semester kids that are leaving us. After satisfying our hunger we were ready to hear what our students had to say about their experience. We had asked Wren Gilbert in advance to say a few words about her experience on Aardvark. She answered to the challenge and gave a really nice and humorous speech! Made us proud 🙂

Wednesday was Cleaning Day or as Maya coined it – “Cinderella Operation”. The madrichim met the students early in the morning with breakfast followed by a briefing of the important operation. By 9 o’clock the speakers were blasting, squeegees hit the floors and hundreds of trash bags were opened in order to contain all that does not belong anymore.
By 4 pm, Proudly, the last apartment was checked by me (and my standards are high) and passed the inspection. They all did an amazing job!
So if they come back home and try to tell you that they don’t know how to clean their room – it is not true! (Don’t mwntion it came through me though..)

Later that day, Culture Committee along with the Madrichim arranged the “Final Event” of the semester in Tel Aviv. I’ve never seen such an emotional event as this in Aardvark. Everyone was dressed beautifully (there were even some guys wearing ties!) and there was a lot of energy in the room. There was even a talent show, hosted by Ira Weiss and Leeor Margalit. Afterwards, the students presented a video which summarized the semester beautifully (made by Goldie). It was heart-warming to all of us! We ended the event with pizza and dancing.

Finally, I wanted to say thank you for your cooperation and trust. It has been an amazing semester for us all. Our office in Tel Aviv is always open if you are around and as always we are available for any questions or doubts you have even after the end of the semester.

To those of you continuing with us for Spring Semester, Natali (The coordinator for Jerusalem) has already met your children and she and her great staff are in tuoch with them. If you have any questions regarding next semester feel free to write her on:
[email protected]

That will be all for now,
I wish you Shabbat Shalom!