gap year in israel

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My name is Remy Sharfman and I am from and currently live in Johannesburg, In sunny South Africa. I decided to go on Aardvark Israel for the full year from January until December as a break before I start university. After I finished high school, I decided to take a gap year as I was unsure of what I wanted to study at university next year. A friend of mine who went on the program last year recommended Aardvark Israel to me and after doing some self-research I decided to give the program a try. During the year I have been having the time of my life. This includes volunteering at Reuth Rehabilitation Hospital, a physical rehabilitation facility for stroke and terrorism victims as well as working on a basic life support ambulance with Magen David Adom, Israel’s official Emergency Medical service after an intense 10-day training course in Jerusalem. In addition, I have also been exploring various parts of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa as well as other parts of Israel where I have been learning more about Israeli lifestyle and culture and been trying some of the most amazing food in existence and where I have met the most amazing people and friends from all over the world. I have also been traveling to other international countries including Italy, Poland, and the cities of New York and Washington DC in the United States. I am now currently a camp counselor at NJY camps where I work in admin in the office during the day and where I am a third parent/bunk counselor to young kids at night.

My experience so far with Aardvark Israel has been unbelievable and absolutely life-changing. Not only has it made me more independent and more proud to be Jewish but it also made me realize more about the daily challenges that Israelis experience which only makes me more proud that this beautiful nation exists. The program also now made me more sure about what I want to do in the future. After camp, I’m going to be doing the second semester in Jerusalem before flying back to South Africa to study electrical engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand or at the University of Cape Town with hopes of making pediatric medical devices for vulnerable children in the near future.