Weekly Updates – Tel Aviv February 24, 2020
We’ve had a great week packed full of activities and I’d like to tell you about some of what we’ve been doing.
Sunday started with Chugim, which were followed by internships. Here is a peak into the internship experience from Kiara Rosen: “I look forward every morning to going to work. I work in a little workshop downstairs. At my internship, I have been taught how to create jewellery out of wood. Tal (my boss) has shown me how to pay attention to meticulous detail and carve small and elegant abstract shapes, which she turns into simple but elegant jewelry items. She has also taught me how to use a belt sander and a bandsaw (my favorite!) I find it very relaxing and enjoyable as I get to do the thing I love every day.”
On Monday, after classes, the students went for a joyful bowling evening! As you probably already know, on Mondays we offer an optional evening activity. We are very happy and proud to report that the vast majority of our students have signed up and chosen to come to every optional activity since the beginning of the semester. This high attendance is a huge part in the activities’ success and I’m sure that if this continues, we will have many more great optional evenings. The bowling evening was very fun and humorous, and it included lots of food and snacks, the students had a really good time and came back with a big smile and memories to cherish.
The highlight of Tuesday was definitely the Dialogue in the Dark museum. The museum is completely dark and meant to give participants an authentic experience of what it’s like to go through daily tasks with no vision. Within the museum, the students followed a blind guide who took them through a forest, a market, a busy street and even a boat ride. We could hear the sea and feel the water splashing around us and we walked around the market touching fruit and vegetables. It was a shocking and intense experience.
“Dialogue in the Dark was truly one of those experiences from which you don’t leave being the same person. Not only experiencing what blind people do in day to day life, but also knowing how they feel from the dialogue itself.
The moment when you get out of the darkness and you just SEE everything, it’s something that many people need and once in a while it is good to be thankful for the important things we have and stop complaining about those that are inconsequential. Unbelievable!” – Uriel Barinboin
On Wednesday everyone gathered in the Moadon for a fun and cool activity set up by our Madrichim. The activity was called “Cafe Dilemma and Zionism”. The entire Moadon was transformed into a cafe and there was a menu stood on each six person table. Each item the students ordered from the menu came with a Zionism-involved dilemma, the students were asked to discuss the different dilemmas and try to reach a solution agreed upon by everyone at the table. It was wonderful to see how the students are facing difficult and controversial issues in a mannered discussion and debate.
Ashleigh Harris said, “I walked into the moadon on Wednesday night to see a beautifully transformed room set up with tables with candles on top. We were divided into small groups and had a ‘menu’ of topics to choose from to discuss with our group. Each topic was paired with a food. For example, the ‘crispy’ topic was the refugee situation in Israel. We then selected a topic to talk about and a Madrich brought over a plate of food and a paragraph explaining the topic with questions to go with it. Our group had lots of different opinions and it was really interesting to hear all the different perspectives. We were able to deeply analyse each issue and try to understand or form a solution. Too soon the activity was over, our group had not yet gotten to all of the topics! Overall it was a lovely evening and Etai made some amazing pancakes for one of the courses.”
On Thursday, we welcomed back the students who had chosen to do MDA volunteering and returned to us after a 10 day intensive course. Here is what Maya Laufer wrote about the experience: “I went to MDA (Magen David Adom) a of couple weeks ago and it was the best decision I’ve ever made! I stayed in a hostel in Jerusalem (which I loved) and learned so many things for life and made so many friends from all around the world! I was afraid of not learning anything or of being too pressured but the staff was very careful and kind, it made me feel more relaxed and calm! Over the next 5 weeks I will be going to do shifts on the ambulance and they are going to be so intense but I’m so exited to put what I learned into practice! It’s been an awesome experience for me and I wish everyone could have the same, even if they are not planning on being a doctor in the future.”
Next week everyone is looking forward to joining Jerusalem’s community for a trip to Masada and plenty more.
Etai Ben Simhon