gap year in israel

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Dear Parents,

Firstly, I just want to let you know that everyone has arrived safe and sound.

The students have had a busy and interesting first day of Spring Semester here at Aardvark Tel Aviv!

After an excellent welcome dinner and a “get to know the group and staff” meeting at the “Moadon” (our large room inside the office) the students returned to their new apartments. They were not allowed to go out that night as we have a busy few days ahead of us and they need to conserve their energy.

Here is what we’ll be up to over the next couple of days:

Tomorrow we will begin our day with a fabulous tasting tour around the famous Levinski Market situated right next to our office and the students’ apartments.
After tasting a sample of what the market has to offer and a session called “Basic How-To’s” (which covers places to shop, do laundry, the cheapest shops and so on) your children will discuss ways in which to manage their budget over the semester and the students from each apartment will go as a group to do their first grocery shop and make their first lunch.

On Wednesday we’ll be heading to The Yehuda Desert. The tiyul (trip) will begin at “Metzukei Dargot” and we will start with a basic hike around the area (which in my opinion is the most beautiful in Israel) this is followed by the chance for the students to rappel off a cliff edge. In the evening the students will arrive at Kibbutz Kalia – where we will sleep and have an evening activity with the entire group.

The next day is set to be even more exciting! We will start by climbing Masada! I’m assuming that most of you have been to Masada or heard of it. It is a very challenging climb that ends at the top of the hill where you can enjoy stunning views of the desert all around you. There the students will learn about the history of the site (it’s a fascinating story – Click Here – if you wish to read about it). For those how have been to Masada before and don’t want to repeat the experience, then we’ll be hiking in Nahal Arugot, which is another stunning place to hike,with natural springs, streams and waterfalls by the dead sea.

After Masada we will head to the “Dead Sea” where the students can float in the water and relax after the long day…
I encourage you to contact your children on Thursday evening and to ask them about the Tiyul. It is certainly an experience to remember. (Don’t be satisfied by answers such as, “it was alright…” or “great!” – ask them about climbing up Masada, the view from the top, the feeling of floating in the Dead Sea and so on).
There is also a lot going on over the weekend. We will start with the “How to not be a Frayer (taken advantage of)” workshop at the Carmel Market followed by Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner at a synagogue, a bike ride to get to know the city, a street art tour, Seudah Shlishit and Havdala, and the list goes on and on..

From now on your children are a part of the great experience known as Aardvark Tel Aviv, They have an amazing opportunity to experience Israel on a whole new level, to enter a new social environment, to become more independent and who knows, maybe even develop some Zionistic ideals. I know for a fact that with your cooperation it is certainly possible to nurture and develop these ideas in the group.

Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael