Shalom Parents and Students!
This week was busier than usual, as all of our communities went on their first overnight seminar in Kibbutz Ketura! Founded in 1973, Ketura is a pluralistic kibbutz, with both an observant and a secular population, only 40 minutes from Eilat. It is highly focused on renewable energies, and the kibbutz houses the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.
The students shared some meaningful moments during their three-day seminar which included workshops, hikes, biking, arts and crafts, and community activities. The students learned about the Kibbutz lifestyle and what it’s like to live in a collective community, where the members share almost everything. They learned about group decision making, and they role-played assemblies, just like those held by Kibbutz members.
Our students experienced the peaceful, very different lifestyle that exists only in places like Kibbutz Ketura. On the first evening of the seminar, they enjoyed a barbecue, followed by some free time in the pool.
On the second day, the students chose an activity – a morning hike, bike riding, oil pastels or drawing with water paints, in the peaceful desert. The students then joined different panels on topics such as peacebuilding, entrepreneurship in the Kibbutz, and others – introducing different aspects of life in Israel. In the afternoon, the students traveled to Kasui Sand Dunes and participated in self-reflection activities, diving deep into the experiences they have been going through so far in Israel, and their personal expectations for the semester. In the evening, the students had a Kumsitz – dinner by the bonfire right by the Kibbutz. They played guitar, made s’mores, and even baked pitas on a tabun, just like we do in Israel!
Then, they attended a presentation by Co-Founder and Executive Director Debbie Goldsmith, where the students learned about one of Aardvark Israel’s Co-Founders, Keith Berman z”l, who sadly passed away a few years ago. Keith loved and taught Israeli dancing, also known as ‘Rikudei Am.’ In his memory, we danced to some famous Israeli songs, led by Debbie.
We leave you with a picture of Levi from the Netherlands, Jose from Mexico, and Zachary from the US, right before the barbecue!
Have a great weekend,