Thoreau Was Right!

by Richard Patrych Ah, camping… A word that rattles everyone’s minds when it is brought up. In our fast paced society, many of us aren’t fond of spending our days without technology or a warm bed to sleep in. Not to mention the hectic food preparations with only a camping stove. Tivnu’s camping trip was different though. It was a genuinely enjoyable and definitely a worthwhile experience. The 9 of us on the Gap Year program had not had much time yet to bond, so we were all skeptical of spending 4 nights together in an unfamiliar setting (most of us aren’t ...

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The Camping Experience I Never Had

by Shoshana Sefia What struck me about going on Tivnu’s camping trip was that I originally thought it would be extremely difficult.  I thought we’d have to sleep on the ground, or fish for your own food.  Because this is a gap year program focused on construction work and building, I had imagined camping in a much harder way. But oddly enough, camping came much easier than I had expected. Our group of twelve people had our own cute campsite full of tents, cooking materials, and a nice open cabin to hibernate in.  Oh boy, was I looking forward to this trip! ...

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Week One

by Baye Miller The hectic nature of traveling cross-country mixed with the fear and nervousness associated with moving into a new phase of your life made for both a physically and emotionally exhausting day. My shoulders immediately relaxed at the sight of Steve’s (Tivnu’s founder) warm smile and sleeveless shirt. After speaking with Steve on the phone and emailing with him back and forth, he was exactly what I had expected. The friendly New York Jew whose kindhearted and warm spirit called him towards the unbelievably friendly city of Portland, Oregon. After ...

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9 participants. 6 states represented. 1 house to host them all.

  by Nomi Small It's the first week ever of the Tivnu: Building Justice Gap Year Program. The above statistics are a snapshot of the demographics of the group. We come from different types of schools, different regions of the country, we’ve got different areas of interest, and we have all chosen to try something new. Together. Where does our new adventure start? Well aside from bonding with each other over the commonalities we’re discovering from our seemingly different lives, we’ve been exploring Portland, Oregon. Yes, we’ve had a scavenger hunt to ...

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A Warm Welcome

By Talia Myers I was one of the last people to land in Portland so when I first arrived at Shaarie Torah, I didn’t know what to expect. But when I walked in, I felt an instant sense of relief, because everyone was so inviting and friendly. When I didn’t know where to sit, one of the girls sensed my hesitation and right away yelled out for me to come sit next to her. I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome to J-Build Portland. The next morning was our first day of work, and we spent the day constructing and setting up rain beds at a Habitat for Humanity...

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Building Communities

By Tamar Palgon and Elliot Bromberg (Written following the conclusion of week 1) During our first week on AJSS, our group worked with City Repair to help build mini libraries. The libraries were constructed  out of recycled wood and windows, and contained shelves in which books will be placed for people of different communities to enjoy and share. Anyone can take or leave a book in these boxes, and the hope is that these libraries will help facilitate interaction among neighbors, helping turn neighborhoods into communities. After we built the libraries, we set ...

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J-Build Portland: A Group United

A Recap of J-Build Portland, July 1-7 By Daniel Barondes This week J-Build changed its focus from working with City Repair (during which we built and delivered mobile libraries to various locations in Portland) and teamed up with  Habitat for Humanity, the Sigma Project and Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN). For those readers who struggle with languages (myself, included) PCUN  translates to the Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United. PCUN essentially lends a hand to undocumented migrant workers who find themselves at a loss when it comes ...

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Newer Every Day

By Victoria "Tori" Alfred-Levow My first J-Build Shabbat (June 28-29) was a new experience in many ways. My family only celebrates Shabbat with a Friday night dinner, so the relaxing, activity-free Saturday was a first for this busy Philadelphian. I spent the day with new friends I'd met only a few days before our first Shabbat, but the chill time and shared experiences forged new bonds for our already close group. But before I delve into my reactions to this universal Jewish experience made special by J-Build, here's a detailed look at how 17 teenagers and four ...

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Blog posts and photos coming soon!

June 26, 2013: The first session of the summer program has started with today's arrival of participants!  Blog posts and photos will start appearing soon.    

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