My name is Temima Mayer and I am from Johannesburg, South Africa.
A gap year has always been something I have wanted to do because I wanted to break out of my bubble at home and go out and experience the world in a way I don’t think I’ll be able to do again in my life.
One of these experiences is my volunteering and Interning. Two days of the week I volunteer at the Holland Center, which is a preschool for children with special needs. This has been a new opportunity for me as I have never worked with special needs before but at the same time very rewarding as when I eventually made connections with the children it was very special. I have learned a lot about patience and perseverance and have loved building a connection with the children and learning to understand them.
On another day of the week I intern at a local hummus restaurant where I help out in the kitchen and learn how to make a typical Israeli foods including hummus, matbucha and many Israelis salads. This has given me an insight into the Israeli culture and food business as well as a free lunch (;.
One of my favorite parts about my gap year is that i am able to explore the city that i live in, Tel Aviv. It has been so exciting for me to live the city life as well as living by the beach. I’ve loved going to the beach during free time and weekends. During weekends I’ve had the opportunity to experience Shabbat in all different Jewish communities around Israel. It was a great opportunity to see different parts of Israel and different communities I would not otherwise see.
My favorite holiday in Israel so far has been Purim. I have always wanted to celebrate Purim in Israel and I was privileged enough to do so this year. I was in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for Purim, a very different experience in each city. It is incredible to be in Israel for Purim as you can feel the Purim atmosphere wherever you go, it is very unifying and exciting.
I plan on going back to South Africa to study and after my time in Israel I know that I definitely want to spend more time in Israel in the future.