gap year in israel

Shalom Parents!

There is a lot to share with you so it may be best for you to quickly make a cup of coffee and take a seat on the couch. Don’t worry, I’ll wait….

Ready? Good!

dried fruitOn Sunday the Madrichim met the students in their apartments for the weekly inspection and meeting. The Madrichim came with a pack of dried fruit and a short Seder (service) for the holiday of Tu Bishvat! It is a fabulous holiday to celebrate in Israel and the atmosphere on Levinski Street is fantastic! For the last two weeks the Levinsky Market has been full of a large variety of dried fruits that give the neighborhood a different color – I’ve attached some pictures from the market to give you an idea of how it looks.

Almost every morning (Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday) the students attend their volunteer or internship work. Louis Reiz started his new internship in the recording studio of a well-known Israeli artist – his name is Guy and he is a part of an ensemble call ”HaDag Nahash”. Louis is helping them with anything that they may need including setting up the equipment, recording with the tech recorder, studying the secrets of the music industry and so on. Good luck Louis!

On Monday evening some brave souls joined the staff to go to the “Nightmare Maze” in Tel Aviv. The Maze is a hugely popular tourist attraction, don’t ask me why, and a number of students repeatedly asked about it. According to the students it wasn’t scary as they thought and they all had a really good time!

trip to Zichron Ya’akovOn Tuesday our students went on a trip to Zichron Ya’akov, one of the first Jewish settlements (moshavot) in Israel established by the famous Baron Rothschild. The students visited the house of the notorious group Nili, a group involved in helping the British overthrow the Ottomans. The students toured the home and learned more about the story of the area. They visited Garden Nadiv, a garden dedicated to the memorial of Baron Rothschild and the location of his tomb. They finished the tour with wine tasting and a tour of the famous winery in the town Binyamina. Zichron Yaakov has amazing views, if you are planning to visit anytime soon I highly recommend taking the time to visit.

A few days ago I received a phone call from Ofir Zeevi to say that Tuesday is Australia Day and he would like to organize something for the group to honor his country’s special day. So we gave him a budget, time, instructions, some tips and he arranged a great event! The group met on the Marcolet Rooftop to eat hot dogs and wave the Australian flags! They had a lot of fun and we are hugely proud of him and his Aussie friends who organized the event! Well done!

Graffiti ArtistsOn Wednesday the Moadon had a makeover. Two Graffiti Artists came to help decorate the walls with Aardvark themed graffiti. We were both excited and nervous about the result of this hasty action… However, it seems that we were underestimating our students, the result was amazing! It was a pleasure to watch the students, they were so into it! Liora Smits seemed to be a natural; she did all the little fixing with the graffiti artists at the end.

An hour before the workshop a group of students met with Shirli (our beloved counselor) to form what we call the “Culture Committee” aka C.R.E.W.

“What is this mysterious C.R.E.W?” You may be thinking to yourself. Previously known as the culture committee, C.R.E.W, standing for Cultural Recreational Events: Weekly, the #crew is in charge of planning crazy hectic events by the Aardvarks, for the Aardvarks! This is the first of many amazing nights with the C.R.E.W., so stay tuned!“(Staci Pinkowitz)

They are in charge of the activity next week on Wednesday and I can’t wait to see what they have come up with.

Entrepreneurship TrackThose on the Entrepreneurship Track met with a copyright patents lawyer. They visited him in his fancy office and heard some really interesting facts about patents. The lawyer also spoke to them about telemarketing design. He explained that today there are copyrights for everything – smells, colors (there is a Coca-Cola red and they are the only company allowed to use it in advertisements!), names and so on. He explained how copyrights and patents work in different countries. Did you know that patents expire after just 20 years?
Those on the Mind & Body Track met Maxine. Maxine is a lovely British woman who is an expert in Chinese Medicine. The Mind & Body track will have several sessions with her about the “Secrets of Chinese Medicine”. The first session was mainly an introduction.

Those on the Selah Track led by Rabbi Marc also had a great time:

“Selah had a fantastic week. On Sunday we met at our regular restaurant for a Tu B’Shvat themed Lunch and Learn with an eco-activist Jewish studies teacher called Miriam. She taught the group about the history and development of the festival and challenged us to appreciate the nature that can be found all around us. On Tuesday night we met for a Bet Midrash session to continue our Chevruta study of Shimshon Raphael Hirsch’s book ‘The Nineteen Letters’. This week’s learning was centered around the theme of the awesome complexity and harmony of the universe. After last week’s incredible Tanach hike to the biblical site of Tel Lachish, this Thursday saw the group journey by train to Bet Shemesh where we visited the Biblical Museum of Natural History – a fascinating educational experience that taught us about all of the animals we can find in the Bible and how modern day religious Zoologists have tried to identify them. Rabbi and founder Natan Slifkin, an animal expert, let us handle some living biblical creatures as well as showing us his collection of stuffed animals, rare eggs and animal horns. “

Dr. Harold Goldmeier wrote a short summary about his classes for this week:

“This week we began classes by laying out the syllabi and students’ responsibilities. My overall objective in intro to business and marketing is to familiarize students with basic concepts and language in each subject. In Mid-East Politics we are discussing the reasons the Mid-East is important to world powers and who the players are in the region. We examined maps to learn locations, trade routes, and the causes of war. In Service-Learning the class is examining Jewish ethics and values as they impact on community service and peoplehood…”

Before we finish I have some notes for you:
1. Classes for credit – The students were asked to decide by Wednesday which classes they want to take in general and which classes they want to take for credit. On Wednesday they will be able to fill in the appropriate forms.

2. If you are sending packages to your child please provide either his cellphone number or that of his counselor and not one belonging to a member of the admissions team.

That is all for now.
Until the next time,
Shabbat Shalom!


Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael