March 25, 2022

An Ode to Tivnu

This blog post was written in February by Yonah Kalikow, a member of the Tivnu 8 cohort from Newton, Massachusetts. In her free time Yonah enjoys cooking, crocheting, and exploring Portland with friends. She interns at Tivnu Construction and at Kindness Farm.

What a time it has been. I came back to Tivnu just about two weeks ago, a return I had been eagerly looking forward to throughout my winter vacation. While my family is great and I always love being with them, I missed Tivnu while I was away. I couldn’t wait to be reunited with my friends and surrounded by my community, my kehilah

When I arrived at the bayit [Tivnu house], I was instantly greeted by my friends and some freshly baked brownies. My first breath in Portland was filled with gratitude for the people and the program. 

About a week later Covid spontaneously struck our bubble. Masks went on and anxieties surged. While the stressful circumstances carried bits of chaos, the gift of being together in this unique community eased us into comfort. 

We are all coping and dealing with Covid in our own way, but we are also sharing a collective experience – one that is undoubtedly unforgettable. I am grateful to be here, with this community, right now. There are so many moments that are filled with smiles and giggles, and so many more filled with care and support. So here is a little poem to capture some of those special moments. 

In this time of Covid

A valley of stress and anxiety can consume.

An internal panic

Sparked by the unknown

and the known

Can guide spirits into a plateau.  


Still there are peaks 

Where you can look out upon 

Rolling hills of laughter and joy

Baking cinnamon rolls with friends

Sharing our quirky skills with the community

Learning songs

learning code

And learning the cha cha 

The sun meanders into the sky

Welcoming rivers of serotonin

The park opens itself to us with

Reading, arting, walking

And when clouds and rain come

Ramps are made 

Vegetables are picked

We build support for those around us

This shower of support permeates 

The bubble

Overwhelming us with love and care 


I am in awe

Coming back 

After a long month break

I felt steady,

I felt ready,

Because Tivnu is my community.

Tivnunik Sam teaches a song, Adam “Zooms in” our Covid patient

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