gap year in israel

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Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael

Shalom Parents and Students!

Wow, what a week! Overnight tiyul in the Western Galilee – check! Where did they travel, you ask? Scroll down to read all about our students’ week >>

Adam and inbar from rothschild and emma from levontin at keshet cave
Adam and Inbar from Rothschild and Emma from Levontin at Keshet Cave
Shaina from florentin with jillian, lulu and maya from jerusalem
Shaina from Florentin with Jillian, Lulu and Maya from Jerusalem
Four communities, over 220 students (!) spent Tuesday and Wednesday in the Western Galilee, up north. The students were split into three groups, and each group went on a different hike. The strongest hikers went to Nachal Kziv, one of the most beautiful hikes in Israel, full of streams and little ponds. The medium hikers went to Ein Hardalit, which is part of Nachal Kziv, only less challenging and mostly flat. The light hikers went to Nachal Yehiam, right by the Yehiam fortress, which is over 800 years old, and finished at the beautiful Keshet (rainbow) Cave. This place is famous for abseiling, rock climbing and…wedding proposals. Honestly, we understand why 🥰
Gila's group from jerusalem community in acre
Gila's group from Jerusalem community in Acre
Everyone(! ) at keshet cave
Everyone(!) at Keshet Cave

After the hikes, the students rode to the Ana hostel in Acre, where they had some time to relax before dinner. After they ate, optional activities were offered, and the students chose from Karaoke, dancing, board games, or just chilling in the lobby with each other. Which activity do you think we chose? Pass the microphone, guys!

On Wednesday, each group went on a tour of the Old City of Acre and learned about the city’s history. They’ve drawn a timeline that goes way back, from the Byzantine era, and the Ottoman Empire that once ruled the land of Israel, all the way to the British Mandate (which wasn’t so long ago!) until the establishment of Israel in 1948. Acre is known to be a mixed city, with Jews, Muslims, and Christians living together, with synagogues, mosques, and churches right next to each other. While the students were walking through the alleys of Acre and trying out the authentic food at the local market, they learned about the riots between Jews and Muslims back in 2021, and how they affected the peaceful, ordinary life in Acre.

Eitan Brown from London, the U.K told us about his experience in the tiyul: “Our overnight trip to Acre was an amazing experience, especially as every community was there and we were able to socialise with those we hadn’t seen for a long time. We started the trip off with a hike, you could pick either the easy, medium, or difficult one. I personally chose the difficult hike, which was a 6-hour hike through Nachal Kziv. Although the hike itself was difficult, we were merited with being able to see the beautiful scenery surrounding us, whilst also being with our friends. Personally, I would have to say walking through the water during the hike was certainly the highlight of my trip, mainly because everyone around me was enjoying being in the water and having a good time taking our surroundings in. Another amazing feature I found about the hike itself was that when we started climbing back up towards the buses, we got a fantastic view of an old crusader castle, as well as now having an amazing view of the walk we had just accomplished. Once the evening activities had finished, I and a few of my friends decided to explore some of what was around us, which eventually led us to play football with some of the locals as there was a football pitch nearby to us. The next day brought us even more activities, as we got to experience a full tour of the Old City of Acre, which started off by doing a small circle of the ruins around us, then watching a film about what has newly been found in the city, looking at some of the architecture and learning a bit about the history of the Bahai people and how the creator of the Bahai religion Baháʼu’lláh, was imprisoned in Acre in the late 1800s. We ended off the tour by seeing the 3rd biggest mosque in Israel, El-Jazzar Mosque, and walking through the market area in the Old City of Acre, which eventually allowed us to reach our destination of a nice view of the sea, where we had a lovely view of seeing the cargo ships leaving the port.

This week Selah looked at texts on feminism and sexual harassment in the Jewish tradition. While texts were written from a male perspective, they did encourage men to not consciously abuse the greater power men had in ancient times. As we turned to modern-day Israel we discussed issues of women in society including service in combat army units, workplace, and changing nature of feminist movements. A lot of progress has been made, and there is still a long way to go.
Rabbi paul arberman

This week, we bring you Rabbi Paul Arberman, our Jewish Life Coordinator, featuring Parashat Ha’shavua – Parashat Pikudei. How does it relate to our students’ personal evolution, self-belief, and personal achievements? Click on the image, watch the video and find out ⬆️

With that said, we want to wish you a wonderful, peaceful Shabbat. May we all evolve and reach new, exciting achievements, just like our students 😊