gap year in israel

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Dear Parents,

Mo’adim L’simcha! It seems that this year that October is full of holidays.
At Aardvark we are busy, though also stuffed from yummy holiday meals!

Here are some of the highlights of the week:

Earlier this week all the students participated to build our gorgeous sukkah. It was amazing to see how kids worked together and helped one another in order to build the most beautiful Sukkah I’ve seen. We challenged each apartment to come up with the best decoration and created a special prize for the best. I’m happy to announce that Dawn’s apartment apartment 4- were the winners. The decoration you made was not only lovely but ecologically good for the environment too.

So congratulations to:

Nicole Schutki
Sarah Levi
Emily Abrahams
Celeste Williams
Tess Bernstein


On Tuesday morning we traveled to our director Debbie’s house for a BBQ and a dip in the natural spring that’s just down the road from her house. Keren Kayan said that being in Debbie’s home really made her feel like Aardvark was a big family and not just your average gap year program.

Wednesday we took a tour of the Menachem Begin Museum. We started with a presentation of the ancient burial caves just behind the museum, which date back to the First Temple period. The juxtaposition between ancient history and modern history is everywhere in Jerusalem. We continued our tour inside the museum. Some of the exhibits we enjoyed the most in the museum were the collection of old videos and the model of Begin’s old safe house and apartment. The tour was led by a terrific guide that walked us through the different exhibitions. We learned about Begin’s life and the events that shaped his ideas and thoughts. We walked through his interesting journey from Russia, to Poland, and finally to Israel where he lead the underground organization, the Irgun (also known as the Etzel), prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, and finally to his work as the sixth Prime Minister of Israel. It was fascinating to learn both about the man and his legacy.

On Wednesday night, we went to the outskirts of Jerusalem to a village called Mevo Modiin, a village known for thier hippie vibe. The festival was very fun, especially when the students went up on the stage and danced with the performers in front of the whole crowd. One of our students, Nash said “We all had a really good time at the festival and everyone definitely enjoyed it. It was really cool to see the artsy and hippie side of Israeli culture and get a small taste of what it is to be Israeli.” Tess Bernstein Isais “felt immersed in the moshav’s culture and came closer to mother earth.”

“For the last Military track meeting, we went to a laser tag center. Although there was no real danger, we still had to think strategically to get the most points. Running around, dodging and shooting lasers was a great and memorable way to have a last Marva meeting”. Noam Beaudoin de Roca

Next week, we are going to a Ketura seminar to learn about the the kibbutz movement and the ecological farm they created there.

Happy end to your Sukkot holiday! More next week.

Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael