gap year in israel

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

Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael
Shalom Parents and Students, 

This week was both emotional and challenging, but also filled with exciting and meaningful moments.

As I’m sure you know, last weekend, 45 people were crushed to death and more than 150 people hurt, including many in critical condition, in a stampede at a mass gathering to celebrate the Lag B’Omer holiday at Mount Meron. Sunday was declared a day of national mourning.

The students marked the event during Sunday’s Apartment Peulah by sharing some thoughts and feeling about the situation. The Madrichim explained what had happened, and each apartment lit a candle and took a moment to talk and share their feelings and thoughts. 

On Monday students had the opportunity to participate in a sunset IDF-style workout.
Tuesday morning, we drove north to a natural water park called Gan HaShlosha, a well-known water park to the west of the Bet She’an Valley. Wednesday for Faces Of Israel, we took an inside look into the Haredi community in Israel. During the week our Selah students met up for their weekly trip while the Yazamut group met with real estate entrepreneur Michael Zagdanski.
Below are some highlights of the week.
Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael
Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael
Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael
Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael

Jade Peurach wrote about the Tiyul:

“Tuesday was really fun! We went to this pool/waterfall type of place. It was really hot out, I got to be with all my friends and we had a great day tanning and swimming. It was the perfect tiyul, after hiking the upper Galilee this weekend, to just relax and be with everyone. Especially since we only have three more weeks left until the end of our year, we need to make the most of it.”

Idf training
“On Monday night, I participated in an IDF training! First we jogged to the beach and  filled up bags of sand and we ran back with them. Then we did stations of 5 exercises that consisted of jumping jacks, squats, lifting heavy bags over our head, butt raises, and crunches, and we rotated doing these exercises for 3 rounds. Then we practiced sprints across the grass and practiced running with weighted bags on a stretcher. We did this for 5 rounds. Then we did an a workout and then a stretching cool down. Overall it was really challenging, but I’m happy I went and pushed myself physically!”
– Maddy Rubin
Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael
“Last week, we visited the town of Pekiin, which is currently a primarily Druze village. It is a place where Druze, Christians, Muslims, and Jews live together in peace. We learned about the story of the last Jews of Pekiin, descendants of a family that allegedly never left the land of Israel even through all the exiles. For lunch, we ate with a Druze family and learned about their religion and enjoyed their food. Overall Pekiin was a beautiful place with incredible people.”
– Leah Dunn
Druze village

In Selah, we continued looking forward to the holiday of Shavuot with our study about the nature of the Torah and what happened (or didn’t happen!) on Mount Sinai 3000 years ago.

Our outing on Wednesday was in the theme of Independence Day and Jerusalem Day by visiting Machon Ayalon, the clandestine underground bullet factory. We heard the amazing story of the secret factory right beneath the British forces and even secret to some of the Jewish workers above ground, and we visited the site to see where the story actually happened.

This week in (th)INK! we continued (and finished for the time being) the conversation about the Conservative Movement’s landmark decision in 2006 regarding LGBT relationships and couples.

Last Friday, we went surfing in Tel Aviv Beach, together with students from the Aardvark Jerusalem community. This is what Carly Shindler shared:


“Surfing is much harder than it looks! After years of dance, I really thought I would be able to master the art of balancing on a surfboard. Needless to say, I didn’t come anywhere close! It was so fun getting up on a Friday morning to try out a new activity, though. I had a great time even though I don’t think I really surfed at all. I mostly just pretended that I knew what was happening. I chilled at the beach for the rest of the day and I can say with certainty that it was one of my favorite Aardvark activities!”

Nadav griver
“I’m lucky enough to be one of the students who signed up for Didi’s entrepreneurship program, a branch of the core Aardvark programming. Once a week, Didi takes her “entrepreneurs” somewhere that teaches us what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. We’ve visited several start-up companies, including WeWork and Dizengoff Mall.Going to these places has shown us the behind-the-scenes when it comes to creating and developing an idea, no matter how crazy, into a reality.
This week, we met real estate entrepreneur Michael Zagdanski, whose journey began in Toronto, Canada, where he grew up. He was born into the family business, where he was led and mentored by his father for years. Once he felt ready to follow his own path, he carried the knowledge he gained with him to Israel. He explained to us his journey in the Israeli market through the past couple years, and we all learned invaluable lessons. The perseverance and bravery Zagdanski needed to travel to a new country and grow a real estate business without any financial aid from his friends or family is boundless. I believe I can speak for my fellow “entrepreneurs” and myself when I say our only complaint is that we couldn’t spend more time learning from Zagdanski’s experiences.”
– Nadav Griver
Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael
Our Madrich on call this weekend is Shai T.
Shabbat Shalom,