This week we celebrated the holiday of Purim, which is literally the holiday of joy. In Israel, this holiday is celebrated with crazy parties, dancing in the streets, huge carnivals and fairs, and the giving of Mishloah Manot. In Israel the best and most powerful part of celebrating Purim is seeing how so many people fulfill one of the greatest mitzvot of the holiday; by giving gifts and Mishloah Manot to people in need in our society. Every Purim, many organizations and voluntary associations in Israel donate thousands of packages of food and gifts to children fighting cancer, they donate to units in the army, to people with special needs to name just a few.Read More
Ronny lives in Zikhron Ya’akov which islocated 35 km south of Haifa at the southern end of the Carmel mountains. Ronny is the oldest of three kids in her family. She has a younger brother who is 14 and a younger sister who is 7. Ronny majored in computer science, software engineering and theatre in high school. Ronny has been a counsellor working in the Maccabi Tzair youth movement over the last 4 years. Ronny enjoys playing sports and hiking, she is a self-taught guitar player and also enjoys cooking. Her favourite things to prepare in the kitchen are delicious desserts. Ronny and her family spent four years living in Washington where she also enjoyed summers at Camp Solomon Schechter. Ronny hopes to fulfill her army service in the air force and she is very excited to bring her Israel to our community.
Noam lives in Holon which is located on the central coastal strip south of Tel Aviv. Holon is part of the metropolitan Gush Dan area and has the second-largest industrial zone in Israel, after Haifa. Noam is also the oldest of three kids in his family. He has a younger brother who is 14 and a younger sister who is 8. Noam majored in chemistry and bio-technology in high school. He also participated in the Timemun program where he debated in English as part of a model UN. Noam was also part of a Young Ambassadors course where he travelled to Berlin to represent Holon as part of the Israeli delegation. Noam has participated as a guide in the Hatzav youth movement in Holon throughout his high school career. Noam also participated in a Masa mission to Poland to connect to our history.
I think it is safe to say,” It’s cold out, eh?” Whoever coined the phrase, it is all a matter of perspective was definitely on to something. Being back in Israel over the winter break, I found myself laughing at my friends who were complaining about it being 10 degrees above zero claiming that it was “freezing”. Not too long ago, I would have agreed with them. There were lots of changes to notice around me. Everything seemed hotter, my little siblings suddenly seem taller, and I realized how much I missed my mom’s cooking. While I was here in Toronto, many of my friends began new journeys as well. Some started different gap years and some got drafted into the army. It is amazing how much things have changed in such a short time. Everyone began talking in acronyms, sharing funny stories about their crazy officers, planning get-togethers months ahead of time as they try to coordinate weekends off together, something that is very un-Israeli unless you are in the army. On one level, I suppose I was anticipating this change. But yet, only after being here, in Toronto and hearing about the dilemmas that Canadian young people our age are facing, did I realize that our reality in Israel is unique and very different from the Diaspora.Read More
Shalom everyone. Last week on November 4th, we remembered the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, the 5th Prime Minister of Israel, who was killed by Yigal Amir, an Jewish Israeli in 1995. Today is Remembrance Day, a memorial day where Canadians stop to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. When you talk about Canada, the last thing that an average person will think about is your army. The Canadian forces are known world-wide as peace-keepers. Canada is a land based on peace- and that’s exactly what Rabin wanted. This is exactly the reason he was murdered, because he wanted peace, and people killed him.Read More