gap year in israel

Check out our social media to see what our students have been up to this past week!

 Student of the week – Maya Fox

Hi guys! My name is Maya Fox, and I’m from Buffalo, New York. After studying at Jewish Day school for most of my schooling career, I knew that Israel was the home of the Jewish people, and that I wanted to experience every aspect of this country. I have been on Aardvark since the end of August, and I just began my second semester here in Tel Aviv. It’s insanely hard for me to believe that my semester in Jerusalem has already flown past me. Next year, I’m supposed to attend Towson University, but we’ll see if I can bring myself to leave Israel after this incredible year.

After spending a summer in Israel during my sophomore year of high school, I instantly knew that I needed to find a time to immerse myself in Israel, the land that I’m so in love with. Israel makes me feel more alive than anything else in this world, and I can’t imagine a better place to grow as a person. When I was on a high school in Israel program called Alexander Muss, I was shown what Aardvark could give me, and I was immediately in. After only one night on this program, I knew I made the best decision of my life.

My favorite thing about Aardvark is that every person is able to do something that makes them happy, and that makes them feel like they are making a difference in this world for their internship. For my internship, I had the opportunity to work at a preschool for children with various disabilities. I became the teacher’s aide, helping feed the children, helping with their physical therapies, and anything else that I could do. Through my internship, I was able to give all of my heart and love to these children, who I grew to have an incredibly strong connection with. Through this opportunity that I could only have had with Aardvark, I was able to truly see that giving back is so much better than receiving. Israel is my whole heart and it is the land that has given me so much, and being able to give back to the people of this county every single day is something that I couldn’t ever thank this program enough for.

Aardvark has allowed me to live with other young adults who are also trying to develop and grow into the people they want to be, and that is an irreplaceable experience. I have never felt more connected to a group of my peers or the madrichim who guide us and care for us endlessly. Aardvark is absolutely incredible, and I’m more than blessed to live like a real local every single day for a whole year.