Dear Parents Shana Tova!
Another week has passed here on the program, and even though it was a short week, we have enjoyed a number of interesting and fun activities.
On Sunday, the students in the sea sports group had an amazing session of Yoga on a paddleboard. It was a very relaxing experience after all the extreme activities that they have already had. The Entrepreneurship group had their second session with Robert Frohlinger, the session covered issues such as what makes a company successful and why Israel delivers results.
Later that day, after everyone cleaned their apartments, as part of the apartment meetings the Madrichim ran a session called “My Israeli journey”. The session was a continuation of the personal mission statement process that the students began last week. They discussed stepping out of their comfort zones into a more challenging zone. This process is mainly about processing the inner journey that every student is going through during the program. The students shared their challenge zones and started to develop steps in order to make the Aardvark experience more significant.
Monday was a nice day. After volunteering and internships, the students gathered for their academic classes. In the Hebrew lessons, they did something special in the holiday spirit. Every Ulpan group had to prepare something together for the Rosh Hashanah celebration. Thirty minutes before the end of the Hebrew lessons, they gathered in the Moadon to celebrate the holiday. The students had prepared some riddles in Hebrew in advance as well as a blessing for the Jewish New Year. They ended the event with a holiday song in Hebrew. It was very inspiring seeing them singing in Hebrew together.
On Tuesday, for our one-day trip, we went to the city of Holon for an activity called Dialog in The Dark. The amazing activity involves an experience designed to help the students understand what it is like to live with visual disabilities. We entered an area that was completely dark. We walked around all kind of rooms that designed to replicate different environments. We could hear the sea and feel the water splashing around us and then we walked around a market touching vegetables and fruits. It was a shocking and intense experience.
Daniel Berkman said, “In the room where we heard music and felt the bass all over your body, there I really felt an intense connection to the experience”.
Later that evening we met on the Roof of the Markolet street building for a Rosh Hashanah feast! The roof was filled with helium balloons and holiday decorations. The students in the culture committee planned and ran the big celebration! Each apartment brought something to the feast and spoke about a traditional blessing and its meanings. After the meal, we played some holiday games made by the students in the culture committee. We began the event by singing holiday songs and then proceed with a ceremony run by the students. Sara Pomeratz and Emma Segal read a special Jewish reading for the holiday and Sophia Gaufberg read a nice poem
We finished the celebration with a blessing from Rabbi Marc and straight after his words, each student took a helium balloon and was asked to write one thing he wants to throw away for the upcoming year. After the count of 10 we released the balloons together and wished each other Shanah Tovah, a meaningful year and some other individual inspiring words to each other. It was a great ending to a wonderful evening put together entirely by the students. We are so proud!
For the next few days, the students will be spending the holiday with friends and families. They will have a chance to celebrate the New Year as locals! We will be back on Sunday for another full and inspiring week.
Please note the Ilay will be the Madrich on call for the holiday and Shabbat.
I would like to use this opportunity to wish a happy holiday and Shanah Tovah to you and to all of your family. May we all have a great year filled with joy, health, and inspiration!