Since coming to Tivnu, I've shattered my 18-year-long streak of only handling a hammer to deal with bedroom wall decor. I agree, this is equally as impressive as it is upsetting. This particular new-found instrument, “The Hammer,” led me to an epiphany....

One of my favorite parts of construction is imagining something in my head and watching it become reality. When I was asked to build a new burnable wood waste shed for our jobsite, I was excited to flex my newly acquired building muscles. So excited, in fact, that I wanted to document the process. Below are pictures of the steps we took during our construction experience....

Last week, during our lunch break, my friend Emma and I laid on the ground and spent a full twenty minutes eating one single chocolate chip granola bar. We dissected it into tiny pieces, and slowly fed each other globs of oats, making sure to comment on the chocolate chip content of each one. We found this activity hilarious. I only stopped laughing to chew, swallow, and sometimes to breathe. After finishing the bar, and realizing the ridiculous amount of time we had spent in consuming it, we returned to our seats and continued our work for our social justice...

I consider myself to be something of a hug connoisseur. I have always loved giving and receiving hugs, and I think I am a pretty good judge of them. Out of the hundreds, maybe even thousands, of hugs I have given throughout my life, the hugs from my fellow Tivnuniks are some of the best I have ever received....

Some days at the morning construction briefing, Erik or Andy (the Cascadia Clusters executive director) will bring up the fact that we at Tivnu are the front line when building for houseless communities in Portland....

I love class discussions. Throughout my years in school, I shot up my hand in every class, eager to debate, counter, or question. It wasn’t until a recent Tivnu discussion about different ways each of us processes experiences (meta, indeed), that I realized I tend to wait to speak until I can disagree or counter a point. It is 10:30 am on a Tuesday morning. I run my fingers over the piece of wood I am de-nailing, looking for any nails I may have missed. I tighten the strings of my hoodie. Check my watch. Still a ways to go before...

It is 10:30 am on a Monday morning. I have been working on this spreadsheet for an hour and a half, and I can feel my eyes wanting to slowly drift away. It is 10:30 am on a Tuesday morning. I run my fingers over the piece of wood I am de-nailing, looking for any nails I may have missed. I tighten the strings of my hoodie. Check my watch. Still a ways to go before lunch time. ...

Last week, I fell down the stairs. Do I have any clue how it happened? Nope. One second I was at the top of the stairs, and the next second I was lying at the bottom, the wind knocked out of me, unable to speak, surrounded by my concerned friends. Once I got my breath back, I immediately tried to get up and walk, but I was instead ushered onto the couch, and asked question after question....

“This is officially the apocalypse,” someone behind me remarked. I tried to laugh, but couldn’t. We were standing on the back porch of the Tivnu bayit (home), looking up at the bright orange sky. The air was thick with smoke. Inside, our power had gone out, cloaking the house in an eerie silence. To add mayhem to madness, we were still in quarantine. “Apocalypse” might have been a hyperbole, but “chaos” sounded about right....

Time truly is a construct. I have been in Portland for just over three weeks and I feel like I have known the other Tivnuniks forever. I feel so grateful to be at an in-person program during these unpredictable times. We have done so much meaningful programming and learning in the time we have been together. After months of being in quarantine, finally being with a group of people is an incredible feeling. ...

This blog post was authored by Allie Crasnow, a member of the Tivnu 6 cohort from Winter Park, FL. Allie enjoys painting, cooking, learning new skills , and generally working to take down the patriarchy. She interns at Our House, Friendly House, and Tivnu construction....

This blog post was authored by Daniel Azariah, a member of the Tivnu 6 cohort from Detroit, MI. When he’s not watching U of M football, Daniel enjoys reading books in Russian, learning new languages, and making Sephardic foods. He interns at Verde Landscape and Sisters of the Road Cafe....

This blog post was authored by William Deresiewicz, a Tivnu Board Member. Bill is an award-winning author, essayist and critic. His work has appeared in The New York Times and The Atlantic, and he has taught at Yale, Columbia and Claremont McKenna College, among others. Bill is the best-selling author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life, and his next book, due out in July 2020, is The Death of the Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech....

Tivnu in the NY Times

Taking a gap year at home can be as meaningful as doing one abroad.
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