Grade 9 Israel Experience Day 3: Four Memorable Moments

By Akiva L.

1) Participating in our P2G sister school Har V’Gai’s science class:
This experience stood out to me because I found it interesting to see how teachers in Israel run a classroom. There were many experiments that caught the eye such as: making elephant toothpaste or using a ph indicator. In Canada, science class often consists of instruction, practice and experiments, whereas in Israel it felt like a lively experience where all the students are actively participating- whether helping, screaming or laughing they put an energy in the air that surprised me.

2) Playing ‘throwing gaga’ with the Har V’Gai students:
As we were waiting to eat lunch the Har V’Gai kids taught us a new sport. It was like a mix of gaga and handball. After the tedious process of explaining and repeating the rules, the game began. The game was fun but what made it meaningful to me was that this was the first opportunity we had to interact as friends rather than acquaintances and the moment when we truly became comfortable around each other. This experience was the stepping stone that led to building relationships with each other, making plans to stay in touch and possibly meeting each other again some day.

3) Learning about the kibbutz movement on kibbutz Dafna with our guide Barry:
Kibbutz Dafna is located next to Har V’Gai and our guide Barry who has lived on it for decades gave us a tour. Along the way, Barry talked to us about the history of the kibbutz including its transition from being totally collective to being privatized. Early on in its history, all the children of kibbutz Dafna lived together, all the money you earned would go to a communal fund, and all resources were shared among the kibbutz members according to their need. Now families live together, people keep their own salaries and are more responsible for their own needs. We talked about how transitioning to a more privatized community can come with pros and cons. I believe that one of the consequences of the transition is that you might have less support from the community to solve your problems. On the other hand, you may have less choice available to you in communal living.

4) Having fun in Kfar Blum:
Kfar Blum is a popular tourist site on the Jordan river with rafting, zip lining and rock climbing. My favourite activity was the zipline because after a hot day it was refreshing to zipline into the cool water of the Jordan river. Kfar Blum was an especially memorable experience for me because the group also threw me a birthday celebration after the activities. We had passionfruit cake that Nave picked up from a nearby bakery and it was great. It was really special to celebrate my birthday with the class in Israel and is an experience that I will never forget.

Partnership2Gether (P2G) is a program of the Calgary Jewish Federation in collaboration with 5 Canadian Jewish communities which links Diaspora Jewish communities with cities or regions in Israel in order to develop “living bridges” and a deep connection as Jewish people.