1) What is your name and where are you from?
I’m Ezra Taylor, from Salford, England.
2) Why did you decide to take a gap year?
Throughout my life I watched many people,including members of my family, take a gap year in Israel and other parts of the world. Eventually it was my turn. I had been to Israel before, but I wanted the opportunity to really live here and immerse in society.
3) What is your internship/volunteer placement?
I intern at i24news, It’s a news channel based in Jaffa and just a 20 minute walk from the Aardvark apartments in Tel Aviv. They broadcast in English, French and Arabic. I work on the English channel. I’m a journalist and I report on various stories of the day. For example, China’s sinking economy, the terror wave in Israel or the controversy over the Qatar world cup. I love the pressure involved in working at a live TV channel and the news gathering process. After several weeks of interning I was offered a job, which I really didn’t expect. After the program finishes I plan to make aliyah. It’s fantastic to know that I have a job waiting for me.
4 )What is your favorite hang out spot in Jerusalem/TLV ?
Throughout the year I have slowly been getting to know the areas we live in. The shuk in Jerusalem is one of the coolest places. During the day it’s buzzing with shoppers getting groceries. At night it becomes completely different with many bars and restaurants opening up. My favourite is beer bazaar–It’s honestly amazing.
5) What is favorite Holiday that you have celebrated in Israel?
Celebrating festivals in Israel is one of the most special things I’ve done this year. It reminds you that no matter who you are you’re all part of the same nationality.
6) Name one Israeli dish that you’ve learned to cook yourself?
Israeli Salad and Shakshooka
7) What do you like to do on your free weekends?
One of the best experiences I’ve had this year was on a regular Friday night in Tel Aviv. We decided to have a potluck Shabbat dinner. Each of us brought food to one Aardvark apartment. It was so much fun for us all to cram into one of the smallest apartments and have a Shabbat dinner together.
8)Please tell me about your favorite Tiyul (overnight trip)?
On the first week of the program, both the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem group came together for an overnight tiyul. What I realize now is that this is one of the trips I loved the most. I met people who are at the same stage in life as me and we bonded doing some bizarre activities. Plus we had an awesome water hike.
9)What advice do you have to pass on to a future Aardvarkian?
I really feel lucky that during this year I was able to meet some amazing new people, make some wonderful friends and to really get to experience living in Israel.