Weekly Updates – Tel Aviv March 12, 2020
We had a great week celebrating Purim together in Tel Aviv! The energy was high and the weather was on our side. Here is a little bit of our week:
After morning classes on Monday, the students were split into volunteer groups and they spent the day either working at a soup kitchen, volunteering at an animal shelter or making kits for homeless people in Tel Aviv. The feedback we got from the volunteering places was that our students were very helpful, and brought so much positive spirit to the places they joined.
Later in the day, we met on the rooftop of our beloved Markolet building for a community Purim party. The Madricihim, together with the Culture Committee have organized an unforgettable night. There were skits, costumes, music, food and overall a great time.
“For my Purim volunteering, a group of students and I learnt about the importance of Mishloach Manot. After our discussion, we were busy at work preparing packages for the less fortunate on the streets of Tel Aviv and for those around us that we wanted to appreciate: neighbours and Aardvark staff. We all wrote cards, packed and wrapped the Mishloach Manot. I loved having the opportunity to take the time to acknowledge and give back to the community we live in.”
Tuesday was a day of much needed rest following the celebrations of Monday night, although many of the students chose to go and experience another day of Purim with their friends in Jerusalem.
This is what Leah Matthys wrote about her Purim experience:
“Purim in Israel was amazing. On Monday, we had an Aardvark costume party and spent the evening walking around Rothschild Boulevard, seeing all the costumes and bar hopping. On Tuesday, we spent the evening in Jerusalem for Shushan Purim, and it was sooo much fun to go to the shuk. At home, my synagogue has a small Purim celebration every year, but seeing everyone in the whole country dressed in costumes and celebrating the holiday was great fun to see and made me so thankful to live here.”
On Wednesday, we went back to our regular schedule. After classes and internships, we met in the evening to hear the story of Barik, a refugee from Darfur, who made his way to Israel and is now living in Tel Aviv. He shared with us his fascinating journey, and gave everyone time to ask him questions about his experience.
Tyler Stern said, “This week on Wednesday we had a refugee from Sudan come into the Aardvark office and tell his story of how he came to Israel. On this program, we spend a lot of time speaking about politics, immigrants and refugees when many of us have never actually encountered them. It was really interesting to get some perspective and insight from someone who has actually been through the struggles of being a refugee. While his story was a sad one there was some beauty in it, he got to Israel and he is now officially a citizen of this country and can contribute to Israeli society. This truly was an incredible experience that really opened up my eyes, and hopefully did the same for my fellow Aardvarkians!”
Next week we are going to have paintball, laser tag, and much more. Attached is the schedule.
To check out pictures from the past week click here.
Etai Ben Simhon