Weekly Update from Aardvark Israel
This update contains important information about Passover, so please read the whole email…
Today half the group spent the day volunteering in a citrus fruit orchard near Netanya while others chose to participate in online activities. If you haven’t seen the photos on our Facebook page, we encourage you to check them out! The weather was amazing, the clementines we picked were delicious, and we were delighted to get out of our homes to safely contribute to Israeli society by helping the farmers ensure that produce would reach the stores. The students worked hard, ate a lot, and were enthusiastic about returning again next week for more volunteering. We followed strict Health Ministry protocols for the bus, with each student sitting next to the window leaving the seat next to him/her empty, and engaged in social distancing in the orchard. We also had the chance to meet (while 2-meters apart) volunteers and staff from HaShomer HaChadash, an agricultural organization in Israel that supports farmers and connects Israeli society to the land. One of the volunteers was an 18-year old Israeli who is doing a year of service volunteering in environmental and agricultural work. It was a great opportunity for us to hear about his gap year experience as an Israeli. Next week, we will be offering additional volunteer options outside of our apartments. Tuesday we will again be assisting farmers and on Sunday, some of us will be going to donate blood through Magen David Adom.
Despite the restrictions, we are settling into the routine of our new normal. As you’ll see in the attached schedules from the past two weeks, the students have had a wide variety of activities and sessions. Although much of our content is online, we have also been busy making amazing meals, creating digital content (tiktok is a big hit with the students!), beginning to prepare for Pesach, and today volunteering out in the incredible fresh air!
Speaking of Pesach, now that the holiday is just around the corner, we have clear information about the protocols which need to be in place for the holiday. Last night, the Prime Minister of Israel again updated the public and there is a clear directive for everyone to remain in their own households for the Seder. He clearly explained that extended families should not join together, young adults living separately from their parents should not return home, and guests should not be invited. As such, the Aardvark students will not be permitted to go to family, friends, or host families for the Passover seder and instead we are assisting the students to make their own seders in the apartments. We have Haggadot (Hebrew with English side-by-side translation), seder plates, and other supplies to distribute to the students and we will be assisting them with designing their seder experience to fit their religious affiliation and interests. In addition, those students who wish to kasher their apartments for the holiday will be assisted in doing so.
The Staff of Aardvark Israel