Weekly Updates – Tel Aviv Jan 1, 2015
Shalom Parents! As you all know the semester is coming to an end. This part of the semester is always the toughest for many reasons. I believe that you can feel how it is for your children at this point. Each student reacts differently. Some are starting to realize that they have little time to do all the things they planned and postponed, some are having a hard time imaging what the next semester/next chapter of their lives will look like and the list goes on and on… but mostly, people are excited for the next chapter in their lives. On Sunday the culture committee made some important decisions about the final events. They all discussed about what the theme should be and decided what the event will look like. I can’t share with you too much because it is meant to be a surprise. I can tell you that it is going to be an Oscar event. Every students will get a prize for his specialty. At the weekly apartment meeting the Madrichim prepared the students for the last two weeks of the program. They talked about when finals will take place, when they will start to clean the apartments, what the activities will be and when they should start to pack. On Monday the Madrichim took the students to what we call a Boys & Girls Night Out. The Madrichim invited the guysto apub they like here in Florentine and challenged the the students to a game of pool – no one could beat Sahar (our beloved Madrich). They all had a lot of fun though they were a bit frustrated that they couldn’t win … At the same time the girls met in one of the apartments in their PJ’s for a Sushi night followed by a movie. Some of the girls shared with me the thrill and excitement of doing an activity only for girls when they can feel free to do whatever they want and in their PJ’s!! I’m certain we’ll do more of this next time! On Tuesday morning the students went on a tour of the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station. Hidden within the station walls is a story of the biggest white elephant in the Middle East. The central bus station in Tel Aviv was planned to be the biggest station-mall in the Middle East. In the beginning, it was called a “city under a roof” and this reflects the way in which it was designed. Thousands of shops, many bus stations for buses from all over the country, a food court etc. after a while it became apparent that it will take years to finish this huge monster building and that’s regardless of the fact that the money was about to run out from the entrepreneurs who invested in it. It took more than 20 years to finish the building (which is now a little bit more “modest” then the initial plan) and a lot of bankruptcy among the shop owners and investors etc. The Station includes a bat cave, a nuclear bomb shelter, an abandoned movie theater and a Gymboree, a ghost bus terminal, an urban, rooftop, community garden and a graffiti exhibition. Yesterday the students participated in closure activities. The name of the activity is a little abstract so I’ll try to paint a better picture for you. By the evening all the students had gathered in the Moadon which was lit by candlelight. Blankets and pillows were spread on the floor for the students to sit on and each one received pen and paper. Every couple of minutes the Madrichim gave the students a subject (“Write a letter to someone you care about”, “write something to someone you hope that will stay in your life” etc.) and the students sent letters to each other based upon these subjects. The Madrichim were the postmen and delivered the letters from one student to another. The activity had an amazing impact. Most of the students left with a lot to think about. Most of them are unaware of the impact that they have on one another and after receiving a meaningful letter about something they did for someone else they are beginning to get a better understanding of their role and their impact. The Sea Sport Track had their final activity on Wednesday and as you can see in the pictures they finished with a relaxing Spa day which was a great success. Today the students have their first, final exam, in Hebrew. I hope that the students have studied enough.