Weekly Updates – Tel Aviv December 1, 2019
It has been an amazing week. We have had a great time traveling and doing fun activities with your children and I’m excited to tell you the highlights from the week. Here we go:
On Sunday, after internships and volunteering, we held our weekly committee meetings. This week, I would like to tell you about the work of our Promoters Committee. Every week the committee meets and searches for different events In TLV. During the meeting, they make signs about the events and hang them around the office. Then the students just have to read the signs that are scattered around on the office walls and learn about many activities that will help them to maximize their experience in the city.
On Monday, we had an evening activity called Cafe Ivrit. The students met in a coffee shop in the neighborhood for a nice and relaxing evening, in which they could ONLY converse in Hebrew (challenging, right? That’s the point!) The students ordered hot drinks and each one received a menu with some Hebrew vocabulary. The Madrichim walked between the tables and helped the students to start the conversation. It was a great experience to practice some simple day-to-day Hebrew words including slang and all kinds of funny terms. The activity was a great completion to the Ulpan classes and the students had a wonderful night together.
On Tuesday for our tour, we went to Gadera to a place called Beit Ambosa, as part of our project of getting to know the different cultures in Israel. We met with the Ethiopian community and learned about their culture and their challenges in Israel. We started the day with a lecture at the neighborhood of Shapira from a local woman guide. We heard about her family’s Aliya story and about life in Ethiopia. Afterwards, we found two different ways to connect with the culture. One was by learning their traditional dancing style and the other was by doing a pottery workshop with clay.
At the end of the day, we split into three groups and went to visit three apartments belonging to Ethiopian women in the neighborhood. There we received amazing hospitality and had the chance to taste some of the food and treats that are part of the Ethiopian culture. We did the “buna” ceremony, which includes drinking three cups of coffee, and tasted the “Dabo” and “injera”, which are different sorts of bread with different kinds of vegetables on them. It was great to connect with the culture in so many different ways.
On Wednesday evening, we had the amazing opportunity to run a panel with a Chabad rabbi and a very left wing Israeli journalist, who came to talk and tell us about themselves and their very different views on religion and politics. Haim Tvria and Shay Fogelman served together in the army in the armor unit. Today, Haim is a Chabad lecturer, rabbi, and a teacher. Shay is a journalist in Israel and a documentary filmmaker. In their panel, they both told us their very different and extreme worldviews, which sort of reflects the extreme opinions of the left and right wing in Israel. The rising tension between the left and right wing and between the religious and secular was deeply felt during their discussions. We, the audience, were exposed to many real lives dilemmas in Israel, such as the issue of Ultra-Orthodox Jews serving in the army, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the feud between the religious and secular citizens, and so much more. I have never seen our students so mesmerized and passionate about a discussion, they were all sitting at the edge of their seats just waiting to ask questions and contribute their thoughts. This panel was very interesting and intense and in the end, I believe everyone walked off with a lot of unanswered questions and thoughts, and all that’s left for the students is to take all of the information in and decide for themselves what their own answers are and thoughts on these issues.
On Thursday, in order to conclude the week the Madrichim had a nice activity in the apartments. The idea behind the activity was “What I’m thankful for”. Later that evening, some of our students chose to attend an amazing Thanksgiving dinner at the Marcolet rooftop. Two incredible students, Abby and Zoe, organized the meal and every student made a different dish for the event!
Next week we are going to the city of Haifa for a day focusing on the different cultures and religions in the city.
The Madrich on call for this weekend is Idan.
Below, please find is the schedule for next week and the schedule for the month of December.
I wish you all a lovely weekend