Rip City

By Noah Jones   It's been four months now, and I can't believe how my perspective on life has changed for the better. Before moving to Portland for Tivnu, I lived in a suburb in Oak Park, IL. I am 19 years old, I have two younger brothers and both of my parents. My mom is Jewish, and my although my dad is not, my brothers and I were raised with a strong Jewish education. After graduating from high school I attended community college in Michigan and quickly realized that I was not prepared to further my education at that point in time. Since I knew I wouldn't be ...

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Winter Reflection

By Sophie Simpson Greetings from California! Over winter break, I’ve had some time to reflect on four months in Portland with Tivnu. I’m Sophie, the oldest Tivnunik in the program this year. I went to University for couple years before this program, but decided to take a break to do something a little different. Tivnu is the perfect fit! I am really enjoying my time in Portland. The Irvington neighborhood is home to beautiful scenery and extra perks like mini libraries and art boxes; perfect for walks and pictures. I absolutely love art and nature, so ...

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Giving Thanks, Among Other Things

By Anna Steckel, Tivnu Resident Advisor   ​It’s no secret that Portland is a rainy place. Around Thanksgiving, the days become shorter, colder, and more dreary and gray. The sidewalks are kaleidoscopic from shedding trees. Warm socks and fleeces are unearthed from the attic after being stashed away for summer. Your hands become perpetually glued to a warm cup of tea. Your raincoat comes to feel like another layer of skin. But you never take that umbrella out from the depths of the coat closet. Pro-Portlander tip from a local: Umbrellas are sure to divulge ...

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A Week With Yoni

By Yoni Vaknin   Hi! I'm Yoni and I'm from D.C. I graduated high school last year and decided I wanted to do Tivnu because it's a Jewish program that offers a chance to work with Habitat for Humanity. I wrote this post to give all of you readers an idea of what a typical week for me is like in Portland. On Monday we had our normal internships and in the afternoon Naomi Adiv came to talk to us about Urban Wealth & Poverty. She's a professor at Portland State University. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we all learned more than we expected. ...

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Tivnusletter – Tivnu: It Begins With Home

Tivnu: It Begins With Home The Tivnu Gap Year begins with establishing our home in Portland, Oregon’s terrific Irvington neighborhood. We begin our hands-on education by learning about affordable housing and houselessness in Portland and beyond. It all came together this year – advocating and canvassing for Portland’s Affordable Housing Ballot Measure, visiting the Dignity Village and Hazelnut Grove (pictured above) communities of houseless Portlanders, and building a tiny house which will become part of Hazelnut Grove. How appropriate that all of this learning ...

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The Thrill of the Build

By David Fresco Introduction by Anna Steckel Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the ReBuilding Center in Northeast Portland. After weaving my way through isles of refurbished doors and windows, baskets of miscellaneous appliances, and piles of mismatched house furnishings, I found the Tivnu construction crew. They were at the back, working away at their tiny house. Some were handling heavy machinery while others were working as a team to figure out what needed to be done next. They quickly saw me and ushered me over. Their faces lit up as they gave me a ...

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Shanah Tovah from Tivnu

By Sasha Pitkofsky Hello All. I hope everyone is having a sweet start to their new year. On Erev Rosh Hashanah we hosted a dinner with 19 people. It was very pleasant, although we ran out of grape juice. We got both Monday and Tuesday off. I was lucky enough to celebrate the holiday by attending services in the woods complete with a potluck and two golden retriever puppies. It was beautiful. On Tuesday night we walked to the bridge to do Taschlikh. After Rosh Hashana, I went back to work. Three days a week I work at Zenger Farms, an educational farm and CSA. ...

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Tivnusletter: A Sweet – and Action-Packed – New Year with Tivnu!

Welcome Threevnu Participants! Our third cohort of Tivnu Gap Year participants comes from California, Illinois, Maryland, New York, and Oregon. They are excited to join the Tivnu: Building Justice Gap Year Program for lots of different reasons: camping and hiking in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, working directly with people who can benefit from their skills – as teachers, gardeners, and cooks – and from whom they learn, as well, living together in a Jewish home, building skills and affordable homes with Habitat for Humanity, and much more. The 2016-17 ...

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First Threevnu Blogpost

By Ayla Landi Fontana My name is Ayla, and I am excited to be writing the first blog post of the year. I am one of the participants of the third year of Tivnu (aka Threevnu). We lovingly call ourselves Tivnoodles and our Madricha (advisor) calls us her Noodles. With all of the Tivnoodles running around the house, it’s always pretty energetic here. We’ve been getting acquainted with the organizations where we’ll intern, learning about affordable housing, exploring our neighborhood, and getting to know each other. I didn’t grow up in a practicing Jewish ...

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Goodbye and Thanks

By Max Drayer As you might know, this year's Tivnu gap year came to an end on Tuesday the 24th, so it’s time for the participants to go home. Although we are all sad that Tivnu is ending for us, it is time to go on with life. As the saying goes, the end is the beginning. We may be leaving Portland, but that does not mean our life is only just beginning: we choose where we go next.  During Tivnu, I made a lot of great memories. One of my favorite parts of Tivnu was all of the trips we took. Over Sukkot, we visited Opal Creek; it was very beautiful and the ...

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