gap year in israel

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

Gilboa mountain

Shalom Parents and Students!

This week, our second overnight took place in the beautiful north, where more than 200 students traveled to Beit She’an Valley and Gilboa Mountain. We hiked and got to know each other a little better. Curious enough? We got you; scroll down to see what we have been up to

Rothschild and myos students seem to be having a blast!
Rothschild and MYOS students seem to be having a blast!
Adam from colombia with ofir, our madricha from florentin
Adam from Colombia with Ofir, our madricha from Florentin
On an early Monday morning, students from all of our communities got on buses and traveled all the way to Yokneam, where they were split into three groups for different hikes. The strongest walkers hiked Nachal Hik and Mount Shokef, the medium walkers went to Nachal Rakefet, and the light hike was in Nachal Kerech and Beit Sha’araim. After hiking, our students checked into their rooms and had some time to rest and relax. Later, after dinner, the students participated in a program and activities with their madrichim. We had our Mensch ceremony, where the madrichim recognized their students who stood out the semester. Give it up for this semester’s Mensches: Jacob Callanan, Mery Kessler, and Keren Abergel from Rothschild; Talia Zeevy, Adam Gordon, Ellie Garrow, and Jamie Shostak from Florentin; Ephraim Goldsmith, David Blitz, and Jonah Tzadik from Jerusaelm; and last but not least – Mira Malka, Eitan Nurick, and Abe Lovich from Levontin!
Jacob with hadas, his madricha
Jacob with Hadas, his madricha
Mary with her madrich harel
Mary with her madrich Harel
Keren with her madricha, hallel
Florentin community at Ein Avdat
Talia with ofir
Talia with Ofir
Adam with romy
Adam with Romy
Jamie with romy
Jamie with Romy
Ephraim from jerusalem
Ephraim from Jerusalem
Mira, eitan and abe from levontin
Mira, Eitan and Abe from Levontin
On the second day, after breakfast, our students traveled to Beit She’an National Park, and were split into groups again to go to Mount Barkan, Mount Tabor, and Kama Village. These two days have really hlped students across all of our communities bond, and were an awesome beginning for their last month of the semester!
Selah students traveled this week to Bar Kochba’s Caves. They experienced what it was like to be Jewish rebel warriors fighting the Romans around 130CE just after the Romans destroyed the Holy Temple. Then they continued to their next stop, Tel Azeka, the site of David vs Goliath, where they pulled out the Tanach to re-enact the epic battle.
Sylvie definitely looks excited!
Sylvie definitely looks excited!
Shoshana in the building! Or better say, in the cave!
Shoshana in the building! Or better say, in the cave!

This week’s Parashat Ha’shavua is Parshat Vayeitzei, brought to you by our Jewish Life Coordinator, Rabbi Liad:

“In this week’s Torah portion, Yaakov flees from his brother Esav who intends to kill Yaakov for taking his firstborn blessings. Yaakov arrives in the land of Charan and immediately falls head over heels in love with Rachel. He makes an agreement with her father to take her as a wife. Unfortunately, when darkness comes, and after a few Lchaims, Yaakov is not able to recognize that Rachel has switched places with her sister Leah. Yaakov has been tricked into marrying the wrong sister!

Some Jewish sages cite this event to explain the Bedeken, or veiling ceremony, at Jewish weddings. However, that seems rather bizarre. Wouldn’t it make more sense for us to have the custom to unveil the bride in order to prevent the error from ever occurring again as opposed to this custom of veiling her?

Perhaps there is something deeper that the Jewish tradition wishes to tell us. Rachel is described as a beautiful woman in the Torah. In contrast, Leah is described as having weary eyes from crying so much. When the groom looks at the bride, he sees his Rachel. It is her special day and she looks perfect; as beautiful as ever. However, he then veils her and in so doing makes a powerful statement. The groom is vowing to not only commit himself to the pleasing aspects of his soon-to-be wife; what we call the Rachel side of her. The groom is vowing in addition to love all the broken aspects that he has yet to discover but lie beneath the surface of his bride; the Leah aspects of her.

The same is true for all people. We tend to see the highlight reel of others’ lives on social media with beautiful, filtered images. We must remember that this is just one side of the person. Underneath we all have our Leah side too with traumas and insecurities that we are working on. The Talmud says every person is an entire world. When we encounter another person, we must recognize that this encounter is not without reason. It is the work of Divine providence. By sharing a smile and a kind word with them, we are involved in Tikkun Olam; fixing the world.”

Have a great weekend,