ShnUpdates - Savyon 9.11.17

Chava v Adam has shown to us all an example of what a Kehilah Kedoshah (holy community) can be. The farm has continued to impress us all and the work has still managed to be rewarding and fulfilling.

During olive picking on Thursday, we were given the opportunity to work in silence for the morning. While difficult to adjust to at first, the silence allowed us all the chance to think and concentrate greater on the task at hand.

On Thursday night, we met and went out with the people from the German branch of Netzer who just happened to be visiting Israel at this time. We taught them some of the dances we do on camp in England and they taught us some of theirs.

The weekend was a restful pause spent at a family member of our group’s house in Jerusalem (shout out to Susie and John Dover, grandparents of Sam Prettyman). The highlight of this visit was a welcomed break from our normal, vegan diet on the farm as we were treated to a delicious Shabbat dinner.

We also went out for a magnificent brunch on Saturday where we treated ourselves to sandwiches, pastries, coffees and juices.

We didn’t go out much for the rest of the weekend but we enjoyed a heated afternoon of Monopoly and a cozy movie night, where we watched the fantastic comedy film ‘Airplane’. There was not one person there who wasn’t cracking up with laughter by the end of the movie, we recommend watching it to everyone who hasn’t yet seen it (you are missing out!).

The group spent Sunday and Monday building a bench/ wall on the farm with cement and rocks. Whilst tiring, it was extremely satisfying to see our work amount to something practical that will be used for a while by people on the farm.

On Tuesday, we had a peer-led day with the Etgar director, Raviv, learning all about different groups and what dynamic we wanted in ours. It was very interesting to learn about how Kibbutzim first came about and the different goals the founders had for the community. Gideon, Joe and Sima ran a beautiful Ma’amad (service/ ain’t service) in the morning after a well deserved lie in. In the evening, we went to Modi’in and met Noar Telem, the Israeli branch of Netzer. They led some dramatic games for us and Talia ran a slightly violent yet fun game for them (LapTag). We really managed to bond with the group. They are all lovely and bubbly and we found we had a lot in common with them all.

On Wednesday morning we had a session with one of our Madrichim on the farm, Yael, where we were asked questions about our lives, challenges and ambitions. Everyone opened up and we all learnt things about each other that we didn’t know before. After that, we painted the boxes we made out of donkey manure last week and were then sent to work in the herbal medicine room of the farm where we learnt a lot about natural remedies and how to make them. We were each gifted with a small bottle of homemade medicine for the throat.

After dinner, the Shin Shin group (young Israelis living and working in the farm) invited us to their living space for a hilarious game of Charades.

While we haven’t been having excessive amounts of sleep, everyone seems to be staying on top of the programming and settling into the community. We are being kept extremely busy but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have time to miss our families! We will be leaving the farm on Sunday but we don’t yet know what we will be doing from then until Tuesday as it is being kept as a surprise. We are all excited to move to Lotan next week but of course we are sad to say goodbye to the farm and all of the great friends we have made here.

We send good wishes to all of our families and friends back home, have a lovely week, we shall be updating you very soon.

Love, Talia and Jack xxx


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Masa Gap Year programs offer college-bound high school graduates a year of valuable life experience before college, with Israel providing the perfect environment for them to explore their interests, identity, and future steps. Through a combination of academic coursework, volunteering, traveling, and an immersive experience in Israeli society, Fellows return home with the life skills to make the most out of their college experience. Learn more about Masa here.

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© 2016 Orit Sagi, Netzer Olami, Photography by Danit Ariel & Roy Elman