My name is Becca Carin and I’m from Boyds, Maryland. After spending almost six months in Israel with Aardvark, I can say for a fact that this program has helped me grow.
I grew up with strong Jewish connections, from living at my temple every week to becoming president of my youth group and temple youth. I knew I wanted to take a gap year, so I figured I might as well go to Israel. I stumbled upon Aardvark Israel through Masa and I knew right away that this was the program for me.
My first semester in Jerusalem was unforgettable. I interned at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, and as depressing as that may sound, I had the best experience ever. I have walked through the museum at least ten times, each time with a new perspective. I learned so much every week in my class “Traditional Judaism Confronts the Modern World” with Rabbi Josh Gerstein and was able to hear varying opinions on different issues. I was on the Jewish enrichment track Selah, where I learned about Israel and myself. And best of all, I have met incredible people who will always remain some of my closest friends.
This semester in Tel Aviv is flying by, and it feels like I arrived just yesterday. I’m working for Aardvark as the first ever Social Media intern (working directly with the Aardvark Social Media Manager) and I couldn’t be happier with what I do. I love my internship and love being a trailblazer for future students.
I am still on Selah and loving every second of it. I am starting to make progress on my Israel Bucket List, from visiting Eilat one weekend to planning a trip to Tiberius and Tzfat. With three months left, I know I am going to accomplish everything I want and more.
I am so grateful for this yearlong journey, and I owe it to a few people. First of all my parents for their constant support, as well as my grandmother who reminds me every day why Israel is so important. To the Jerusalem staff, thank you for the support you gave me even during the tough times. To the Tel Aviv staff, I cannot wait to get to know you better and share my last few months here with you.
As sad as I am to leave this life-changing country at the end of May, I know that Israel will always hold a special place in my heart. And who knows, maybe I’ll be back for good 😉