Hi, my name is Gadiel Shepherd and I come from Johannesburg, South Africa!
I joined the Aardvark programme because I liked the idea of balancing volunteering/internship, traveling all of Israel, Ulpan and Jewish learning. It has been a wonderful opportunity to meet friends from many countries, as well as learn about myself and explore Israel. The slogan ‘living like a local’ certainly describes my semester in Tel Aviv. It has been a huge learning curve, but with help from new friends (especially my roommates: Yoni, Elan, Jacob and MZ) and support from my madrichim, it has been exciting, challenging and fun. I know it will help me in my future as I plan to study at the IDC in Herziliya. I have learned how to do laundry, make schnitzel, bargain at the Shuk and even ride a scooter on the busy Tel Aviv roads! I volunteer with my fellow Aardvarkian Zac at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History where we have helped organize and catalogue many animal specimens from boar skulls to preserved mice in jars!
I also took part in the Selah Jewish Enrichment track where I was privileged to go on Tanach tiyulim (such as visiting Avraham’s Well), experience Tefilah workshops, chavrutah learning and my favourite… the Shabbatonim! I’ll never forget the goat herding in Kfar Kedem and the jaw dropping views of the beautiful crater in Mitspe Ramon.
My Aardvark experience has taught me to take every opportunity I can get and to not be afraid to explore the world around me!