gap year in israel

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

This week, our students had the opportunity to choose between different tracks for our two-day leadership seminar. They completed hiking trails, learned from guest speakers, and experimented with different forms of creative media.
Picture of tiyul

Day One: Hiking Tracks & Workshops

Students were given the option to hike in the Negev at Ein Ovdat, Nachal Mamshit, or Mizad Zin.

“I chose the Ein Ovdat track. We hiked for about two hours, saw a small waterfall, climbed ladders up the cliff of the mountain, and once we got to the top, there was a really pretty view of the mountains.” -Ahuva, current student at Tikva Community

Ein ovdat
Two of the groups visited the grave of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, to learn about his role as Israel’s “founding father” and how he demonstrated leadership in establishing the state.
Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael
“After the hike, our track got to experiment with Moroccan traditional art in Yerucham. We painted mandalas on tiles and learned about how the owners of the studio were able to unite all kinds of people through this art. Yerucham is a small city in the south of Israel with a diverse population. This studio was established to unite the communities within the city and give people a sense of home in the city.” -Ahuva, current student at Tikva Community
Tiles we made

While one of the groups was busy with exploring the beautiful traditional Moroccan art, our other group visited “ABAGADA”, a local artist and designer who lives in Yerucham who is brining

To end the day, the students all joined together to eat dinner in Bedouin tents as a community.

Day Two: Leadership Tracks

On the second day, our students delved further into the principle of leadership through more guest speakers, museums, and hands-on experiences. They chose between the Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Neot Kedumim tracks.

The Tel Aviv track began their day with a speech from Lipaz Ella, a leader who started a group called “Minyan”, which provided a religious aspect to the lives of people who struggled with connecting to their religious identities. She shared her story about how she managed to persevere through the events of the war and continue to bring others together through Judaism.

Two of the tracks visited museums to observe how important historical leaders Yitzchak Rabin and Theodore Herzl played major roles in Israel’s existence and prosperity.

The Neot Kedumim group were taught how to herd sheep, how to shoot bows and arrows, and were taught about Biblical leadership.

Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael
After the Rabin Museum, the Tel Aviv track ended their day meeting with Harel, the Head of Security of Kibbutz “Re’im”. He shared his story about how he led in protecting his kibbutz on October 7th. He and his family explained the aftermath of October 7th, including the relocation of its residents to Tel Aviv and the ongoing efforts to maintain a feeling of community after the crisis they experienced.
Visiting re'im community
All three groups summed up their two days with a conclusive meeting, discussing what modern-day leadership looks like, as well as exploring different aspects in their day-to-day lives where they can take it upon themselves to become leaders.