gap year in israel

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

Spring semester 2024 has officially started!
On the 9th of January, 120 students from 12 different countries started the Aardvark Israel Spring semester, and we can’t describe how happy we are to see that even during these challenging times, young Jewish people are seeking connection to the land and people of Israel.
Spring semester 2024 has officially started!

What have our students been up to?

In their first week, all the students got to know their neighborhood, their staff, and their new lifelong friends.

Tuesday, the first day of the semester, started with the students settling in their new apartments and meeting their roommates. Of course we had to have our students try out the national dish – Falafel!


Adulting 101

As our students have just stepped into adulthood, they are starting to learn what it means to live on their own, run a household, and be away from their friends and family back home.

Of course we couldn’t let them figure everything out on their own so we started the semester with a cooking class so they know how to cook something for themselves and make their lives easier after the program.

Ezra , noah, jeremy, dan and yishai learning how to make falafel!
Ezra , Noah, Jeremy, Dan and Yishai Learning how to make falafel!
Tikva community, you made us hungry with how delicious it looks!
Tikva community, you made us hungry with how delicious it looks!

Exploring the desert

Thursday was our first trip of the semester. We went down south to the Negev Desert and explored the Makhtesh Gadol. For a lot of our students it was their first time visiting the Negev, and we were so happy that we were able to provide that experience. Our original plans got rained out and as stated by our Director of Education , Moshe Levi, “ it was no coincidence that we ended up walking in the desert, just like our ancestors did.”
Exploring the desert

Professional development day

One of the central goals for the students on Aardvark Israel programs is Professional Development. Participants are placed in internships or volunteer positions, with the hope that one day they may become the next generation of CEO’s and follow career paths they enjoy! We can’t just send them off without some preparation! In order to make sure our students impress their new colleagues, we crafted a Professional Development Day. Students were “introduced” to the varying personalities you can meet at a workplace.

They gained valuable insights into what is needed in order to be a successful intern, as well as understanding what it means to set realistic professional goals. Additionally, our students learned about the importance of proactive communication as a central element of succeeding in their placements. The students came away from the day excited to begin their internship/volunteering journeys and meet Israeli society in an authentic, unique way!

100 Days

January 14th marked 100 days since October 7th, and during this time, Israel’s loved ones have been held captive in Gaza. Our students shared their feelings about the ongoing situation. Together, we placed posters bearing the names of the hostages around Tel Aviv, reminding everyone that we, the Jewish people, eagerly await their return home.

Additionally, on that same day, we heeded the request of Rachel Goldberg, the mother of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who has been in captivity since October 7th. She urged us to grab a tape and a marker and mark the days that have passed since October 7th to raise awareness. This day marked a powerful moment, as the communities of Aardvark Israel felt a profound connection to the Israeli nation.

Play Video about 100 days

And You Would Think That Will Be All, But No!

Yesterday our students went on another Tiyul but this time they chose what they wanted to do. Options included exploring beautiful Neve Tzedek, volunteering in agriculture fields, and more!

For more pictures and videos make sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok!

We’re happy to say that this semester started on the right foot. We can’t wait, as tomorrow our students will start their internships in various companies and fields, proving once again that no matter what happens to the Jewish people, we have no other place on earth!

עם ישראל חי


The Staff of Aardvark Israel