By Max Drayer
As you might know, this year’s Tivnu gap year came to an end on Tuesday the 24th, so it’s time for the participants to go home. Although we are all sad that Tivnu is ending for us, it is time to go on with life. As the saying goes, the end is the beginning. We may be leaving Portland, but that does not mean our life is only just beginning: we choose where we go next.
During Tivnu, I made a lot of great memories. One of my favorite parts of Tivnu was all of the trips we took. Over Sukkot, we visited Opal Creek; it was very beautiful and the weather was great. There weren’t that many other people staying there, so all of Tivnu was able to feel close and together. After winter break, all of us took a trip to Mt. Hood, where we were able to cross country ski, snowshoe, and build an igloo. Another favorite Tivnu memory is a day trip we took to Angel’s Rest. I got to pick the location, it was a beautiful day and it didn’t rain at all, and finally, the view at the top was spectacular. The best part of Tivnu was all the people I’ve met. From the other Tivnu participant to the people who I worked with during the week, all of my favorite Tivnu memories come from the great people I’ve gotten to know.
Tivnu has helped me gain some very valuable life experiences. One of the most important things is that I have better people skills. At my volunteer placements, I interacted with members of the community and because of that, I think I can talk to people a lot better. Another good skill I have learned is taking initiative. For example, I know that if I want to go somewhere during my free time I have to do it myself not wait on someone because If I don’t take the initiative nothing will happen. Another valuable life experience was cooking: aside from our communal meals, if I didn’t cook for myself I wouldn’t eat, simple as that.
I am very sad about Tivnu ending. Even though I am sad it is ending, I am kind of excited for what is happening next in my life. I am getting to go home and every time I go home I have more stories to tell and soon I am going to see friends who have been in Israel for a really long time. In the fall, I am going to Manhattanville College and will have so many new and exciting adventures and more people to meet.
So thank you to my friends at Tivnu and where I volunteered and everyone who supported this program.