gap year in israel

Shalom Parents and Chag Sameach!

Today is the start of Spring Break and all the students are on the way to celebrate Passover – some at home, some with friends, some are traveling within Israel and some outside of Israel.

However, here are some highlights from our past week:

Last Shabbat, the Selah students spent Shabbat at Mechinat Revadim – an Israeli gap year program. It was a really successful Shabbat and the students made great connections with the Israelis on the program.

On Sunday, the Mind and Body track had a healing music workshop. In addition, Rabbi Marc came to talk to students who were interested a quick guide on koshering their apartments for Pesach. In the evening the students met with their Madrichim for apartment activities centered around the theme of freedom and Passover.

On Monday, we had a community meeting and the students voiced their feedback on activities from the past month. We also discussed the Break-Out March process and the difference between “Experience” and “Empowerment” as experienced on the program educational process. At the end, we through the next month schedule and the main upcoming events.

On Tuesday, we drove to Caesarea, the most beautiful beach-city in Israel, built by King Herod. We were one of the first groups to try out a Virtual Reality tour of the National Park, which really made the ancient palace come alive. We saw the ancient amphitheater, which to this day continues to be one of the most popular concert venues in Israel and we explored the palaces, the bathhouses, and the ancient cardo. Being able to listen to the tour guide while seeing the history comes to life with our VR glasses was an amazing experience and a great example of how technology can be used in education. From there, we drove to Park Alona and entered one of the ancient Roman aqueducts, which is part of a 23 km water system built by the Romans. We walked through the underground tunnels and marveled at the building ability of the ancient Romans. Afterwards, the counselors surprised the students and took them to Michmoret Nature Reserve, a stretch of white sand on a beautiful beach. The students had a great time and some mentioned that it was one of the best tours so far.

In Parsha and Pizza this week also had a Pesach theme as we contrasted the idea of freedom with slavery. Rabbi Marc used films to inspire a deep conversation about the nature of freedom. Along with some amazing scenes from the movies Shawshank Redemption, Braveheart and Amistad, we read the American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of Human Rights and pondered what it means to have our right to freedom enshrined in law. We heard about the holocaust Survivor Viktor Frankl who went on to found an important school of psychology called Logotherapy. Frankl claimed that freedom is the ability to transcend oneself and give to others and to be able to choose one’s attitude in life even in cases of hardship, like those who shared their bread in the concentration camps. We finished off with a text from Rav Kook who said, “We can find an educated slave whose spirit is free and the reverse, a free man whose spirit is that of a slave. So what makes someone free? – the spirit of the person.”

On Wednesday, the Mind and Body students had a healthy cooking workshop with Tal Nimrodi, the founder of Rusty’s Nut Vegan Products. She showed us how to make completely vegan and delicious desserts.

In the evening the culture committee hosted a humorous chocolate Passover Seder. The table was set up with a traditional Pesach plate, but instead of an egg or “Maror,” we had Kinder chocolate egg and dark bitter chocolate. The students read from an alternative Hagada and we played all the traditional Pesach songs with the guitar. It was a very nice and sweet evening all together as a family.

Selah this week met with Rabbi Marc to prepare for Pesach with a Haggada workshop. The group was given 20 different Haggadot and we looked through them together while Rabbi Marc gave some insights and explained the structure of the Seder. We then had an overview of some of the laws of Pesach – including the prohibition of Chametz and how to get rid of it, Kitniyot, Matza and how to prepare a kitchen to be Kosher for Pesach.

During Pesach break, there will be a staff member on call every:

From this weekend up to Sunday, April 1 the Madrich on call is Daniela.

On Monday, April 2 the Madrich on call is David.

From Tuesday, April 3 to Wednesday, April 4, the Madrich on call is Sahar.

From Thursday, April 5 to Sunday, April 8, the Madrich on call is Ilay.

Chag Pesach Sameach and Leshana Haba’a be Yerushalayim,



Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael