Nehama Dormont – a participant on BINA Gap Year in Tel Aviv, is summarizing her first five months on the program:
“There are not enough words to describe the life changing experiences and personal growth I have had in my first five months on the BINA Gap Year. From the moment I stepped off the plane in August, I have been swept up in a whirlwind of new and amazing people, places and experiences. I made a home living in Shapira, Tel Aviv with people who were not yet friends, not yet family, but have become my community.
I got to learn Hebrew, which was a new language to me, become acquainted with a new culture and a new way of learning. At first, it was definitely hard being so far away from home, but I got to know so many new friends, who welcomed me with open arms.
I got to experience the Jewish holidays in a new way, which has shaped and strengthened my Jewish identity. I walked in the streets with my friends on Yom Kippur and saw how quiet the city could become. I helped plan a seminar for my group and got to spend my Sukkot with them. I started volunteering with kids in an after school daycare and fell in love with it. I got to have Thanksgiving with my group and got to show some of the Israeli staff traditions from home. I went to the south and had an amazing week planned by my fellow Mechinistim (Israeli peers from the Mechina or Year of Service – post high school, pre-army programs).
I saw so many people put their all into seminars and projects. I got to see their hard work in action. Even kitchen duty gave me wonderful memories, and really bad garlic breath of course.
I have experienced so much in the past five months, that there aren’t enough words to express how grateful I am for all of it. It wasn’t always easy and I wasn’t always happy, but I have gained so many wonderful memories, relationships and connections. I wouldn’t change any of it.”
Would you also like to have a one-of-a-kind experience?