gap year in israel

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

The aardvark monthly - may 2023
The aardvark monthly - may 2023

Shalom Parents, Students, Partners, and Staff,

Wow, the last month of the semester flew by so fast! So much happened in just one month. How about we start telling you about it? ⬇️

Two of our international trips took place in early May, to Poland and Germany! Our Poland trip focused on the Shoa (Holocaust), and was tailored to teach and show the students the atrocities that were initiated and conducted by the Nazis and their helpers. Our students visited Treblinka, Majdanek, and Auschwitz Camps; the Warsaw Ghetto; and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising memorial. Our students learned about the Jewish heroism during World War II, visited old and new synagogues, learned about the prosperity of the life of the Jewish community before the war, and about the present Jewish life in Poland.

Read Matt Siegel’s blog post about the trip to Poland

Right after that, our Germany group took off to Berlin, where they learned about old and new Germany, before and after World War II. They visited the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg gate, the Jewish Museum, they met members of the Jewish community and visited the famous Shoah Monument, for Jews who were persecuted and murdered during WWII.

Of course, our students found time for some fun activities, as they attended a Blue Man Group show, an interactive show with the audience. We heard that it was one of the best

shows our students have ever attended 😉

At the majdanek concentration camp
At the Majdanek Concentration Camp
Germany trip at the berlin wall
Germany trip at the Berlin Wall

Our students’ last weeks in Israel were extremely busy: last days of internships, last overnight trip, and goodbye events with their madrichim (counselors). While a few communities decided to take things in a more intimate vibe and have small group dinners, others dressed up and had an Oscar Night, where students celebrated and won awards.

Our students took time to reflect about their experiences, acknowledged what they have learned, their achievements, successes,and failures that made the grow stronger and stronger each day.

Ofir, at a rooftop dinner in the sunset
Ofir, at a rooftop dinner in the sunset
Bar the madrich is waiting for the oscars!
Bar the Madrich is waiting for the Oscars!

During the Tekes Siyum (closing ceremony) for all of our students, Benji, Johnny, and Mike revealed their talents, singing and playing beautiful songs, in addition to speeches from Debbie Goldsmith, our Executive Director and Co-Founder and students from each community. Mimi Baron from Levontin, Elijah Mosberg from Florentin, Leeyam Ohayon and Lily Waldman from Agripas, Ella Duvdevani from Betzalel, Simon Lagrange from Rothschild, and Gabriella Ben Zvy from Levinsky all shared some of their reflections on their Aardvark Israel experience. Click on each student’s name for their full speeches.

Saying goodbye for the last time
Saying goodbye for the last time
Four countries in this hug!
Four countries in this hug!
Goodbye for now
Goodbye for now 💙

This month was the last student of the week month! But don’t worry, next month we are coming back with our alumni! Give it up for May’s students of the week! How many times has Ella been to Israel? What does Gilad plan on studying in college? And where did Gabby intern?

Click on their images to get some answers

Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael
Ella from the States 🇺🇸
Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael
Gilad from Australia 🇦🇺
Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael
Gabby from the States 🇺🇸

Last but not least, we welcome our Semester Plus and Year Plus students to Jerusalem!

These students are continuing on the program to work in an American Jewish Summer camp from mid-June but before that they moved to Jerusalem and are already becoming locals. Last week, our students got to tour Israel’s Supreme Court and learn about the Israeli Judiciary system. How fascinating! After their time in Jerusalem, they will take off to the States, where they will travel for one week in Washington D.C. and New York City, before starting camp.

Sounds like the perfect summer vacation? Yup, our students though so too. Here is all you need to know about our Semester Plus and Year Plus programs.

Aidan seems to be making new friends already
Aidan seems to be making new friends already
Israel's next lawyers?
Israel's next lawyers?

That’s a wrap, everyone! We will see you all next month. For now, we leave you with a picture of two of our devoted Madrichot, Noa and Gali ❣️

See you all next month, and have a great Summer!

The Aardvark Israel Staff

The aardvark monthly - may 2023