gap year in israel

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Dear Parents:

This week was a special week because we celebrated Hanukkah which brought with it light and family values into our program.

On Sunday evening- our Madrichim organized an activity including lighting the candles in our Moadon for everyone. In the activity, the Madrichim made a fun quiz “Kahoot” about Hanukkah and its traditions. The students shared with each other with holiday memories from home and what the holiday personally means to them.

On Monday we had a karaoke night. It was really fun to just sing and dance with each other. We started with some modern hits in English, continue to some Hebrew hits and before we noticed everyone stood up and danced together. it was great to see them enjoying in !such a great bond

On Tuesday– we all took a trip to the holy land- Jerusalem. We chose to visit this cultural and full of Jewish history city specific on Hanukkah. We started the day with a tour around the old city of Jerusalem with the goal of learning and understanding the connection between the history of the city and the story of Hanukkah and the rebellion of the “Hashmonaim”. We began the tour in the Zion Gate and from there we continued to the garden of “Bonei Hahomot” where we met our tour guide who taught us the connection of Jerusalem to Hanukkah. Then we continued to Jaffa gate where our tour guide explained to us the connection between Tel-Aviv- Jaffa, and Jerusalem. In our entrance to the old city through the Jaffa Gate, we went up to an amazing spot overlooking the city. There, our tour guide explained to us about the different quarters of the city and the diversity of cultures, religions, and nationalities of Jerusalem. After the observation point, we continued our tour with a walk over the walls of the old city of Jerusalem. We climbed steps and walked on the walls surrounded by breathtaking views, on the left the old city and on the right the modern Jerusalem. Through the walk on the walls, we reached the western wall, where thousands of people and prayers came that day and we gave our students some free time to enjoy and take in the special and holistic feel of the place. After the tour ended, we met with our Jerusalem students for a ceremony of lighting the candles together in central Jerusalem. We opened the ceremony by handing out “Mensch” t-shirts to our students who showed initiation, responsibility, and friendship over the last month. Afterward, Rabbi Marc blessed as we lit the candles and then we began with a celebration of song singing both in Hebrew and English accompanied by a pianist and a professional singer who specially came to perform for us. Within a few minutes, everyone began dancing and singing together, it was beautiful and emotional to see everyone come together to celebrate the holiday. At the end of the day, our students went back to the old city for the lights festival that took place. The festival had fire elements, special lights, music and dancing and lots of over attractions. Our students danced with the “Nachmanim”, watched the fire show and walked around the old city which was filled with people at this hour. We got back to Tel-Aviv pretty late tired but satisfied by a day full of stories, celebrations, and great fun.

Joe Porter said “This Tuesday we took a trip to Jerusalem, during which we explored the Old City, and then joined together with the Aardvark Jerusalem group for dinner and a Hanukkah-themed song session. Afterward, we were given time to wander around the Old City and join the Hanukkah festivities. Overall, it was a great day!

On Wednesday evening we had the privilege to watch a new movie about the Israeli prime minister – Benjamin Netanyahu. His biography is full of countless media appearances that helped him fortify his position. With the help of archival materials from his performances over the years, King Bibi reviews his rise to power: from the days when he starred as an expert on terror on American television in the 1980s, through his live confession of the hot tape affair, and until he gained full control of the social networks, The Israeli. From one studio to another, Bibi has become one of the great hopes of Israeli politics for a controversial leader whom many in Israel see as a savior, and others – a politician who will not hesitate to cling to power. Besides being exposed to Bibi’s life, it was an opportunity for us to understand better Israeli political landscape, main events in Israel’s history and the relationship between the country and USA. After the movie was played nationwide festivals in Israel, we were one of the firsts groups to watch the movie and to have a discussion with the director about it. 
This week on sea-sport because of the rainy and stormy weather we couldn’t do an outdoor activity so everyone went to Rishon Le’zion to a place called “Fly Box”. This place lets you “fly” and feel as though you are skydiving (don’t worry this was in a closed container and not outside!). Our students wore the professional gear and flew in the room just like birds. It was a very fun experience. 

Next week we go on a trip to the “Galil” where we will visit the city of Acre, have a walk in “Oran River” and spend the day of the Israeli youth movement “Hashomer Hatzair”, very much looking forward to this trip.

The Madrich on call is Daniel and can be reached at +9724455541

Shabbat Shalom



Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael