16 Reasons

Desmond G: Definitely consider taking a year off from school. You will have time to recharge, preview adult life, discover new passions, and decide which interests you would like to pursue for the rest of your life.

Tamir E-B: Before embarking on another four years of education, I wanted to make sure I brought back to the forefront of my life those things that make me, me. In Tivnu, I did.

Amanda T: Tivnu showed me not only that I was capable, but that I could enjoy my independence by exploring everything Portland has to offer.

Emma N: I might say “tikun olam,” but I can barely fix a broken toilet, much less the world! With Tivnu, I’ll be equipped with the tools to build life skills in myself in order to build lasting change in Portland.

Ben L: Tivnu gave me a more profound love and understanding of Judaism that shaped me to this day.

Brandi L:  When searching for which gap year to do, Tivnu seemed like the perfect fit for me. I don’t have to be scared to be who I am. Tivnu accepts everything and everyone.

Ben L: By taking a break from school, I was able to learn how to take care of myself, so when I got back to school, I was able to focus on learning in my first year.

Emma G: Learn how to build important things! (I fixed the shingles on my new apartment the other day!!)

Aliza S: Living in a communal home with participants -- who quickly became friends -- taught me how to advocate for myself, communicate better with those around me, and make almost anything (including the dishes!) fun.

Leci G: Tivnu gives you an opportunity to meet and live with people from California to New Jersey and everywhere in between. It’s a great way to learn about people from other places.

Bella S: I am excited to use my brain in a new way. I’m eager to devote myself to problem-solving, critical and creative thinking, and teamwork through my social justice internships, communal living, and new friendships.

Maddie D: Change in people, change in environment, change in routine. My mind and body were craving unconventional learning and exploring.

Hannah J: All throughout high school I found myself so busy with academics and extracurriculars that I didn’t have any time to explore new things and try out new interests, doing a gap year, especially with this program, gives me that opportunity.

Hannah S: Although the traditional classroom is great in many ways, I think there is so much value in non-traditional-learning settings, and in applying that learning directly to social justice work.

Avery K-F:  I needed to find a community that where social justice and mutual support were both important values. I am so grateful that Tivnu is giving me real, hands-on experience with this complex balancing act.

Ben L: It gave me such a deep love of social justice that I am continuing it to this day and plan to for the rest of my life. Tivnu has opened doors for me to jobs that I could not have gotten without it.

Through my internship I've had the opportunity to do things that I never expected to be able to do at this point in my life: to positively influence individuals on a personal level and to find my place affecting macro-level policy as well.

— Aaron R.

I’m so grateful I did Tivnu. I just used my fancy Non-Violent Communication skills in college and got mad props for it.

— Sara B.

Acceptance was our initial instinct and has since morphed into the foundation of our community. After just two months in the program, I can already recognize how much I have grown. I feel comfortable being myself here. At Tivnu, the status quo is being unique, different, and yourself.

— Adam D.

I feel motivated to experience and practice Judaism in the ways that I want to, and I feel much less restricted about the ways I need to do that. Tivnu helped me understand the ways in which Judaism and social justice relate which makes me really excited to be involved in social action with other Jews and in Jewish contexts.

— Hadara G.

Before I came here, I had little time to figure out where I was going and what I wanted. This year has been crucial for figuring out who I want to be, and how I want to contribute.

— Emma N.

I love Oregon. A lot of my friends at Tivnu are from the East Coast and everything here is huge and magnificent to them and I’m like, “Yup. I told you so.”

— Sophie R-W

I had a very busy schedule, between volunteering and Tivnu programming, but I sincerely loved every minute of it, and I still had time on my own to explore beautiful and fun Portland and form connections outside of the program. I especially loved the downtown farmers market, Laurelhurst Park, the St. Johns Bridge, and all the delicious vegan food trucks.

— Ami F.

I was amazed by the incredible diversity of the Pacific Northwest ecosystems - we explored coasts, forests, snowy mountains, deserts, and rivers! I loved experiencing the vast Oregon wilderness with the people that I love.

— Hannah S.

My daughter had an incredible experience that has no doubt shifted her view of the world, and has come away with a myriad of skills she will benefit from for a lifetime, as well as lifelong friends. We are very grateful for all of that.

— Cynthia G.

Josh and I attribute so much of our daughter’s confidence and readiness for college to all that she gained from Tivnu.  In addition, the openness - to people, opportunities, experiences, and Judaism - and sense of community that she and her cohort experienced with Tivnu, I think the program provided them with a sense of belonging in the world and an attitude of grace in how they approach new experiences.

— Jodi S.

Doing Tivnu made me who I am today. Before Tivnu, I did not know what I wanted to do with my life and I did not feel ready for college. Tivnu gave me the experiences to become who I am today and I would do it 100 more times if they would let me.

— Ben F.

Start Something Real

 Tivnu: Building Justice. Real life, real challenges, real accomplishments. Make your gap year really amazing.