June 24, 2021
Hello Parents and Students,
This week included some enlightening and some just-for-fun activities.
On Sunday, the students went to Sacher Garden with their Madrichim for some outdoor activities, and also enjoyed the weather and cold coffee.
On Tuesday, we began our tour at the lookout dedicated to Asaf Siboni z”l on the northwest corner of the Gaza Strip. There we could see the fence that separates Israel from Gaza, Gaza City, the kibbutzim in the area, and the burnt fields from last week’s activity on the border. While there, the students got a picture of the history and the present realities and narratives both for people in Gaza and the people in the areas surrounding. Most inspirational was the presentation by Hagar, their counsellor, who grew up and still lives on Nir Am, the kibbutz next to the lookout point. She told her story about life in the area. She had also arranged for a discussion with the volunteer security commander of Kibbutz Nir Am to get his perspective on living on Nir Am in both peaceful and tense times. We also took a break to enjoy Nir Am’s swimming pool!
From there, we ate lunch in Sderot and supported the local businesses there. The most popular was Hummus Shel Techina, which is one of Sderot’s best cultural exports, with branches in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Beer Sheva.
With full bellies and smiles on our faces, we left for Netiv Ha’asarah to meet with Tzameret Zamir and learn about her project called Path to Peace. Like tens of thousands who have come before us, we placed ceramic pieces of art on the security wall surrounding the kibbutz which borders the north of the Gaza Strip. Tzameret’s hope is that projects like this can show the humanity of people affected by war on both sides of the wall.
“This week, we were able to go to the border with Gaza and we were able to learn about the perspectives of people who live in the surrounding communities. This experience opened up my eyes to a new way of life that helped me view the conflict in a way that I previously had been unable to picture prior to the trip. I especially enjoyed our trip to Sderot and to Nir Am, and I enjoyed the swimming pool.” – Noah Pearlman
After a relentless week working hard at both our internships and in our classes, Aardvark rewarded us with a trip to the cinema, to see “Cruella.” Judging by the audible volume of certain individuals during the movie, it’s fair to say it was an enjoyable watch. The movie aims to provide some context to the tragic backstory of one of Disney’s most notorious villain: Cruella DeVil. The art direction feels like it was lifted straight from a Vogue shoot, and the fashion is fabulous. Just as punk rock is taking over Carnaby Street in London during the ’70s, Cruella stands up to wreck the public’s entrenched sensibilities of stuffy haute design through bold, glam, rock-inspired creations, delivered with defiant disruption. The movie’s robust soundtrack is loaded with iconic music from the 1970s; it feels exciting every time a note starts to play. The script is divine, and the actors seem to delight in their characters. The best part of the movie was most certainly Billy’s silence – hopefully they start taking us more often! – Dan Rose
On Monday, students on the MADA track had their graduation ceremony, after six weeks of volunteering in ambulances. I would like to congratulate Eve, Evie, and Gabriel for their wonderful contribution during their volunteering experience.
Volunteering In the Spotlight – by Evie Cowen
My time volunteering at MADA not only taught me valuable first aid skills, but also allowed me to see a version of Jerusalem I’d never seen before. I met people from all over Jerusalem who all had a different story to tell. MADA also introduced me to a wonderful group of people from all over the world whom I got to know during the 10-day training course. MADA has been such a valuable experience to me, and not one I’ll forget anytime soon!