gap year in israel

July 4, 2021

This week in the Rothschild Community TLV

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Hello Parents and Students,

This week was filled with fun activities and experiences.

In the begining of the week, we participated in a color war, organized by some of our students, in which the students were divided into groups, assigned a color, and completed different tasks in order to win.

In Faces of Israel, we heard from Etai, who grew up in the Gaza Strip and shared his experience of life there, including during the 2005 disengagement. We discussed the reasons people choose to live in an area that is attacked by Hamas and the repercussions of living like that. This encounter was linked to last week’s trip to the Gaza envelope, where the students saw what the area looks like today.
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On our Tuesday tiyul, we traveled to Masada and the Dead Sea. Masada is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel situated on top of an isolated rock plateau. It is located on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea.
We left Tel Aviv in the middle of the night for the amazing chance to experience climbing Masada and watching the beautiful sunrise from the top.
Masada and the dead sea
Masada and the dead sea
Masada and the dead sea
After Masada, we escaped the heat and enjoyed the salty water of the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is 430.5 metres (1,412 ft) below sea level, making it the lowest elevation on Earth. Some students covered themselves with the Dead sea mineral mud, while others just enjoyed floating in super-salty water.
Dead sea
Dead sea

Emily Willrich wrote about her experience:


“This Tuesday, we all dragged ourselves out of bed at two AM to catch the bus to Masada. We then immediately fell back asleep on the bus, and woke up three hours later to the madrichim blasting “The Circle of Life” as we drove through the moonlit desert. When we got off the bus, though we all were running on little sleep, we hurried up the mountain and reached the top of Masada in time to see the breathtaking sunrise. Afterward, we toured the ruins, learning about the history of Masada’s rise and fall. It pulled my heartstrings as both an American and a Jew to learn about the men and women who killed each other and themselves so that they could die free rather than surrender to the Roman Empire. As we listened to this history, we could hear a group of IDF inductees nearby, swearing the oath that “Masada shall not fall again.”

After the tour, we had a difficult yet beautiful hike back down, and then ended the tiyul with a relaxing float in the Dead Sea. Overall, despite the early wake up, the mix of incredible geography and history made this tiyul by far my favorite yet.”

On Wednesday, our Sea Sport students experienced paragliding in the Har Suf area. Each one got to fly and experience looking down at the beautiful beach and ocean view from above.

Sea sport students experienced paragliding in the har suf area
Sea sport students experienced paragliding in the har suf area

This weekend we’ll be spending our time as a community in Jerusalem. We will go together to Yad Vashem and the Old City as we experience a quiet and spiritual Shabbat together.


Next week, the students will be going on Sar-El to have an experience with the IDF. They will volunteer and get to know and learn about a side of Israel very different from what they’ve experienced so far.

Have a great weekend,