My name is Josh Hanison, I am from London and I studied at JFS school.
Having visited Israel with my school five years ago I knew I wanted to come back to further my experiences and connection with the country. Taking a gap year on the Aardvark programme has given me this opportunity whilst also allowing to meet and make incredible friendships with Jewish people from around the world.
Aardvark has enabled me to benefit from a balanced programme and I have really enjoyed the classes, weekly, trips, and Shabbatons but also learning to live independently and immersing into Israel’s multicultural society.
My first semester in Tel Aviv was incredible – who wouldn’t complain about being able to go to the beach every weekend?
Being in Jerusalem this semester and living close to the Shuk and Old City has given me a sense of ‘belonging’. I am privileged that my internship mirrors my love of football and working with children. Being a FA Qualified referee I have now been promoted to Football Coach (for the Equalizer Group – a sportive-educational programme) working in a school to the north of Jerusalem. The Equalizer Group aims to create a more ‘just’ society based on football, education, respect, and understanding. I currently coach 10–11-year-old boys and girls. Teaching them skills and watching them develop is so special and very rewarding – although I am still struggling to teach the offside rule in Hebrew! Only a couple weeks ago we had a tournament at the Beitar Jerusalem Training Ground and my team reached the Semi-Finals.
After my gap year, I am going to Nottingham Trent University to study business management and marketing.