AARDVARK MADRICHIM (COUNSELORS)
Rafi Goldstein: Hi, my name is Rafi and I’ve lived in Jerusalem my entire life. I served in the IDF for 3 years as a senior combat medic in the Artillery corps. After I finished my army service, I worked at Camp Wise in Cleveland, Ohio, as a counselor and song leader through the Jewish Agency. I then spent 6 months travelling around South America. When I came back home I worked as a group leader at the Shlichim Training Seminar for 2 years in a row, preparing new shlichim to work at summer camps. I’ve just finished my 3rd summer at Camp Wise as a programmer and Rosh Mishlachat. I’m planning on studying education and going into the field of informal education. I’m very excited to work for Aardvark this coming year and can’t wait to experience Israel in a different way to that I’m used to!
Avia Azarzar: My name is Avia. I was born in a small kibbutz in the North and after two years, I moved to a small city in the north of Haifa where I finished High School. Right before the army I decided to do a year of community service in Jerusalem as a part of a youth movement called “machane olim”. There, I was a counselor for youth of all ages. Later I was drafted to the education corp in the nahal unit. There I was a commander for youth in the gadne base in the South. During my job in the army, I advanced to be a commander for privates and because of an injury, I went back to my original base to be a commander in a Marva unit. After a year and a half I moved to Rishon Lezion with my unit, to join the educational system in the city. I was working with youth at risk, and from that experience I realized that it was something I wanted to do after the army. I really like music and I even collect vinyls. In addition I like to cook and be creative. I’m really excited to join Aardvark and meet new people and create new experiences with them.
Tomer Brand Gadol: My name is Tomer and I live in Kibbutz Bet HaShitta in northern Israel. I first started as a counselor in high school in “HaMachanot HaOlim” youth movement on my Kibbutz. Before joining the army, I did a “Shnat Sherut” in Eilat as a tour guide in the Nature and Parks Authority. Afterwards, I served in the Navy for 4 years as an NCO in the underwater search unit. After my discharge from the military, I worked as a counselor in a summer camp in New York and later traveled across North, Central and South America for another 9 months. I really like hiking, nature and the ocean, and I’m looking forward to working as a counselor on Aardvark and meeting new people from around the world!
Michal Kedar: Hi, my name is Michal Kedar. I grew up in Zichron Yaakov (close to Haifa) and lived there all my life with the exception of a couple years during which I lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Following high school, I decided to go on a pre-army program called “Mechinat Hanaton”. In “Hanaton” we studied about Israeli society and its major conflicts as well as about different approaches to Judaism. I also volunteered with children with special needs. During my military service, I served as a social worker in the “Kfir Brigade”. Right after the army, I spent my summer as a counselor in “Camp Ramah Darom” in Georgia. I then went on a trip around the West Coast and continued to Central America. In my free time I love to travel, practice yoga, read books and listen to music from the 50s-80s. I’m very excited to meet you all here in Israel and share with you a wonderful and meaningful year!
Tamar David: Shalom, I’m Tamar! I’m from Binyamina, a small town on the coast between Haifa and Tel Aviv. Before my army service, I decided to take a gap year on a program called Mechinat Galil Elion in Kibbutz Maayan Baruch and then proceeded to do a 6 month extension program in Nazareth Ilit. These programs combined Jewish & Israel studies with volunteer work in our communities, as well as hiking a lot and getting to know different communities in Israel. I then spent the summer of 2015 as a counselor and horseback riding specialist at Camp BB Riback in Canada. I served in the Intelligence Corps of the IDF, so I can’t really tell you what I did. After my service, I spent the summer of 2018 as a counselor and Art Specialist at Camp JORI in Rhode Island and then went on a 4-month trip through beautiful South America. I love animals (especially my pets), cooking, the beach and getting to know new people and places. I’m currently spending the summer before Aardvark working for AMHSI as a counselor.
Gil Ezra: My name is Gil, I’m 23 and I grew up in Kfar Saba. I love to laugh, smile, listen to music and look on the bright side of life. During middle school and high school I was a member and a counselor of a youth movement called “Ha’noar Ha’oved” which is like “Habonim Dror” in Israel. My job in the IDF was in the Intelligence Unit so I can’t talk much about it. However, I can say that in the last year of my army service, I was a commander for new soldiers – teaching, helping and taking care of them. Last summer I worked as a counselor in “Camp Tevya” as a nature specialist. I decided to be a counselor on Aardvark Israel because I think the connection between the Jewish people around the world is important for all of us. And mainly I think by participating in the program you can learn a lot about Israel, Judaism, friendship and about yourself through living in Israel and exploring the culture. It is a great honor to be a part of this journey with you in the coming year.
Daniel Shriki: Hello, my name is Daniel Shriki. I grew up in a small Moshav called Kfar Ahim in the South of Israel. In my youth, I was a counselor at the Bnei Hamoshavim youth movement (the sister movement of the Bonim Dror movement in Israel). I studied at Be’er Tuvia high school and continued to Hakfer Hayarok College to study minor electrical engineering. After that I served in the army in the electronics unit in the Air Force where I was responsible for navigation systems and investigated plane crashes. This past year I was a therapist counselor for youth at risk in Nes Tziona. In my free time, I play freestyle frisbee competitively. I love the sea and nature in general and I collect antique coins and vinyl records. I’m thrilled to work at Aardvark Israel and really excited to meet all of you!
Dor Hanoch: Hi, my name is Dor Hanoch. I’m 24 years old, I have lived in Jerusalem all my life and I’m LOVING IT. Before I was drafted into the army, I went to practical electronic engineering school. I served in the Israeli Air Force as a class commander in a high school military program called ‘Blue Steel’. I was teaching history, English, and electronics to around 70 students, and helping them with their day-to-day problems. I ended up as the commander of the program in my school. I spent two summers working in camp Ramah in Nyack, NY, as an activity planner and as a ropes instructor, working with children aged 5 to 13 and two summers with the USY METNY program as a bunk counselor. In the last year and a half, I have traveled in Central and South America absorbing the culture and the beautiful views. I love cinema and want to go to acting school one day. I try to listen to different kinds of music every day, and I love experimenting with food. I’m so thrilled to be joining the Aardvark family as I wish to contribute my knowledge and to spend time with the students.
Arad Gechtman: Hello there! My name is Arad Gechtman. I was born and raised in Shoham, and learned all my life in a democratic school where my majors in high school were theater and history. In the army, I was a combat medic commander in the Nahal unit for two years, and worked as a counselor for teenagers in risk for one year. After the army, I studied theater and circus skills in Mitzpe-Ramon. Last summer I was a medic in Camp Kimama in Kfar Gallim, and in the fall, I completed hiking the entire Israel trail. So… If you want to learn how to juggle, handstand, theater and performance, acro-balance, play or sing, dance, hike and beatbox talk with me!