ShnUpdate - Savyon 15.08.18

The beginning of Haifa takes us all the way back to our first opening seminar in Jerusalem. Exciting new sceneries, different faces and cultures, wild ideas of how we are going to run the house, hourly debates whether or not we go vegetarian and the stress of WHO IS GOING TO ROOM WITH WHO??!

We have met our new madricha, Hila, who is so great, and has been introducing us to all of the incredible things that Haifa has to offer. We are super excited to get to spend our last few months with her. Our new apartment is located in a religious Jewish area, and is a quick bus trip to anywhere we have to go.

Michael Leibowitz is currently in charge of ‘homecare’, writing up ridiculously organised cleaning and cooking rotors and making some of the best meals that Savyon has eaten in a while. Michael Sacks is in charge of ‘greenlife’, planning how we can turn the empty space around our flat into a permaculture jungle, and has also managed to eat 10 weetbix a day while here. Jess has been coming up with great ideas on how we can actually live intentionally in Haifa, Nathan has been organising ways in which we can improve our Hebrew before we leave (definitely needed), and I am organising all of our Kvutzah (group) activities.

Number one on the list is taking kosher food to our neighbours and getting to know them. Jess, Michael and I went down to Carmel beach yesterday, getting overly excited about real waves and a little bit lost on the way back - this is not unusual. This morning Nathan and Michael Sacks volunteered at a community garden in a nearby neighbourhood. They got a chance to see the skills that they acquired on Kibbutz Lotan with a lovely old couple, and brought back with them valuable knowledge and a few different plants. Our garden has officially started! Jess spent this morning volunteering at a local thrift store in a women’s centre, helping some Israelis organise and tidy up the store. I met the people that I will be volunteering with at Kfar Galim, where I will be teaching kids from troubled homes how to surf.

Overall it has been a great first week and we are so happy to be here.

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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