Rebecca's first update from Israel

Hey everyone,

My name is Rebecca, I’m 21 years old from Denmark, and I’m part of the Scandinavian gap year program called Shvilim.
Right now I’m in Israel for the next 6 months. As part of Shvilim, now in Israel i participate in a program called Kol Ami (Jewish peoplehood and leadership academy). We are 35 Young Jews from all around the world living, learning, travelling and volunteering together. They are teaching us everything from Jewish peoplehood and philosophy to army preparation and trainings (the Israelis go to the army after the program ends) and i find it really interesting. We’re also doing hikes and trips all around Israel so we can get to know the country better - both the land and the society.

I’ve been here for a little more than 3 weeks and I have already learned a lot about the culture and the Israeli way of living.

It’s been 3 intense weeks...

We started the Mechina with a hike around the Area of Kiryat Anavim (not far from Jerusalem). Going through the challenges together, during the hike we got to know each other much better.
In the first week we got separated into different committees. Basically, these committees (us) run the mechina. Some of us responsible for the food and logistics, and some for the schedule and content. for example, I’m in the Shabbat committee - we plan the Shabbat schedule, logistics, accommodation etc. when we are in the mechina. It’s really cool because you can really feel the trust, and being treated as an adult. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about responsibility.

One of the highlights I’ve had was Yom Kippur. Kol Ami has 5 different branches around Israel, and we all met up in Haifa, together with many alumni who joined us. We were 500 young people together having fun and fasting as a group. Definitely my most special Yom Kippur so far.
The biggest challenge I have had is being away from home. It’s not easy but all the other participants are helping me when I need some support, and that’s really nice.
I’m really looking forward to grow as a person during the 6 months.


Shana Tova!