gap year in israel

Dear Parents & Students,

This week may have been short but it was still full of significant events.

On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, we celebrated Rosh Hashanah and our students spent the holiday with friends and family.

Solly Sperber said, “It was lovely to spend my first Rosh Hashanah with my family in Israel. The food was incredible, I got to hear the shofar in synagogue and just spend time with my family. I love the feeling of the Holidays here. You smell it, taste it, and feel it in the air and it is intoxicating in the best way possible!”

This week it was a short week on Selah due to Rosh Hashanah, but we still managed to meet for our first Learning Space. Each week the group will gather at Rabbi Marc’s home for an intense morning of discussions, lectures, study circles and activities. We began on Thursday morning with a celebratory breakfast before we began studying Jewish speech ethics. We then had a couple of taster classes so that the group can decide which options they prefer. One option is a class on Judaism’s revolutionary ideas throughout history and another option was a Bible masterclass. After a well-deserved break, the group regathered for a spiritual and musical experiential activity with a dynamic pair of Chassidic teachers. Today Selah heads off to the holy city of Tsfat in the North for its first Shabbaton. The group will have the chance to pray, eat, bond and learn together over the course of Shabbat with the gorgeous mountain views and charming Old City and Artist Quarter.

Internship in the Spotlight by Elan Ganz:

I volunteer at a community garden on Emek Refaim. A man named Reuvaini runs the garden and he is very funny. His English is very broken, but he has been teaching us Hebrew. I have mostly been cutting down bamboo and bundling them in preparation for sukkot. I enjoy volunteering at the garden because it gives me work experience in this field and the opportunity to practice my Hebrew.

This week in the class “Jewish Philosophy of Today”, we started the semester with a discussion about the importance of philosophical inquiry. We addressed the distinction between philosophy and theology, their questions and answers, as well as their impact on modern Jewish thought. The first modern Jewish philosopher that we will be studying is Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Rabbi Heschel was a philosopher par excellence who was active in the civil rights movement and advocated for an active Judaism that engaged with the modern world. It is my hope that it will be a semester of fruitful and meaningful study for all involved.

Below some pictures from the last week together with next week’s schedule.

Wishing everyone Shabbat Shalom and Gmar Chatima Tova!