gap year in israel

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Shalom Parents!

This week we decided to do some changes. 6 students have been chosen to replace the madrichim for 2 days. Wren Gilbert was one of them. She wrote to you all a summary of this week schedule:
(I added some blue notes for her slang to keep the text authentic)

” Shaloooom Parents!!

Coming at ya live from TLV, it’s Wren Gilbert! I hail from the middle of the mitten (=Woo Michigan) and was given the title of “temporary madricha” this week for two days along with some of my peers. We had a blast giving Na’ama, Elad, and Maya a hand with all of their fancy shmancy madrichim responsibilities. I’m positive our fellow Aardvarks appreciated our mini apartment inspections, and early morning wake ups to get them up and to their internships.

Sunday kicked off the week with apartment meetings where we reminisced about the semester, first impressions, and talked about wrapping up the final three weeks (WHHHATTTTT noooo!). Also thanks to our madricha, we chowed down on some SUPES (=Super) tasty glida (ice cream).

Monday night’s mandatory activity was “Sexing Up Israel’s Image“– a motivating presentation by Tuvia Book who discussed the U.S.’s perception of Israel. He left us thinking about how we will take the experience of living abroad in Israel and incorporate it into our lives. Will we stand as ambassadors for Israel on our campuses? Will we as Jews pursue Tikkun Olam, and continue to build our Jewish identity? Will some of us act on the sense of community in Israel and decide to make aliyah? Overall it was a talk that got the gears turning.

Tuesday was fye (That’s slang refers to “fire”, a term meaning awesome, cool, wicked, etc.). We had a guided tour of The Central Tel Aviv Bus Station. When you think “bus station”, there are things that may NOT come into your mind include: a hidden abortion clinic, an underground movie theater frozen in time from the 70’s, a Yiddish library, and a modern Israeli art museum. We all had an amazing time!

Wednesday was the day the changing of the hats. Josh Cohen, Robyn Isberg, Ellis Lewkowits, Aaron Sistare, Ophir Benari, and I (Wren) picked up the reins of the madrichim. Along with basic duties, we were charged with the task of planning and executing the Wednesday night activity. We decided on a game night and Sufganiot (Hannukah donuts) decorating bonanza (=fun festivities). The Aardvarks enjoyed getting in the competitive spirit and seeing how well they knew each other during our version of The Newlywed Game. The sufganiyot were delicious but that’s obvious, and goes without saying.

Thanks for reading my report of our busy week, hope you were entertained and Shabbat Shalom!

All the best,
Wren Gilbert ”

Thank you Wren, I’ll take it from here 🙂

This week in Parsha and Pizza the group studied the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel. Rabbi Marc presented a few commentaries that explored the story not just as a battle between Jacob and an angel but rather as cosmic struggle between the powers of good and the forces of evil. The Lubavitcher Rebbe teaches that when Jacob refused to let the angel go before receiving a blessing that perhaps we can all find the power to let the bad that happens to us serve as ultimately something positive, something that builds and makes us grow – in other words a true blessing.

On Sea Sports track, Elad planned an amazing Sea Sports program of 2 days. They all started by going to watch the amazing beach of Zichron Yaakov, then to the cinema to watch a movie. After a good night sleep, they all went to the “Hot Natural Springs” of Kibbutz Ga’ash. They were so excited and had a wonderful bonding with each other.

That will be all for now,
and until nest time,
Shabbat Shalom,


Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael