Dear Parents and Prospective Students,
Most of us need to work for a living. Some of us just work. We work to earn money, to socialize, to have structure in our lives, to get a break from our children perhaps. But there are some very fortunate people who work in a job that they absolutely love.
I have been blessed in life to work in a field that I love and am deeply passionate about. I didn't begin my journey wanting to direct a gap year program in Israel. When I was a little kid I wanted to be a dentist, mainly because my cousin had an antique dentist cabinet filled with lots of little drawers in which to hide secret toys. Later on in high school I thought that being a doctor would fulfill me. In biology class I was one of the few people who had no problem at all dissecting anything. By the time I began university I realized that psychology and the mind fascinated more than the body.
All along this journey of identifying my career path, I did have one constant companion – I had grown up in the Zionist youth movement Young Judaea and many of my part-time or temporary jobs were working for the movement. In each job that I did I realized two important lessons: I was really good at it and it made me happy to work with Jewish kids.
Of all the age groups I have worked with, I find 18 year-olds most fascinating. That precious moment of time between the comfort of their parents’ home and being thrust into a larger world allows these young adults to truly begin the amazing journey of self-discovery. Add to the mix the process of defining one’s Jewish and Zionist identity and you get a powerful combination of forces.
After 11 years of directing the Young Judaea/FZY Year Course program in Israel, I realized it was time to go in a new direction. With the help of a core group of talented youth workers, we have put together this ground-breaking new program called Aardvark Israel. Our goal is to be the premier gap year and semester programs in Israel. We believe we have created the most dynamic, hip, trendy, urban, forward-thinking Jewish/Zionist experience offered on today's market that truly meets the needs of today's young adult.
To each student, we can assure you this will be a year filled with challenges, wonders, fun, fascination, learning, volunteering, experiences, self discovery, maturity, and joy.
To each parent, we promise you that you are partners with us in your child's experiences throughout the year. We will take care of your children as if they were our own. We will send them home more mature, better prepared to cope with the challenges of university life, and more dedicated to the future of the Jewish People and the State of Israel.
We look forward to working together with each of you on this incredible journey.
Director of Aardvark Israel