A few weeks ago, the Tivnu 8 cohort took a weekend trip to the beautiful Westwind camp on the coast of Oregon. We went to the beach, canoed, sang around the Shabbat dinner table, and slept in two rustic cabins. Here is a photo diary of our trip!...

It quickly felt very rewarding to teach kids skills that will actually help them in life, such as planting and harvesting food and cooking healthy meals from the food they pick. ...

This vlog highlights a day in the life of T8 (Tivnu’s 8th cohort), from morning until Shabbat begins. Watch it to see how social everyone is in the morning, what we do at the construction job site, and how we get ready for Shabbat. Hope you enjoy it!...

I ran downstairs, grabbed a plum top sheet and a container of thumbtacks. Thumb tacking a sheet to a wall was harder than I imagined it would be....

Realizing that T7 is nearing the end of our time together, I wanted to use this blog post as a means to reflect on the whole year behind us. I was trying to think of a story or a lesson to sum up this experience but ...

This blog post was authored by Liv Kaplan, a member of the Tivnu 7 cohort from Minnetonka, Minnesota. In her free time, she loves creating and sharing art in its myriad ways with friends, nature, the city and beyond. ...

During the past many months, I have asked numerous questions. Some dumb and some incredibly serious. I have always been deeply curious, rolling questions off my tongue from my first breath....

Being at Tivnu has made me appreciate the smaller moments in life. Over the course of this year I’ve grown to appreciate the little pieces of time that I’ll remember forever....

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....

Tivnu in the NY Times

Taking a gap year at home can be as meaningful as doing one abroad.
Featured in The New York Times
View PDF Version