Tivnu Blog

Nov 15 2018

The Complexity of a Simple Community

As I sit and ponder what to write about, I find I always come back to the same topic… airplanes. Don’t fret-- I will not bore you with information about planes such as the function of winglets, or what reverse thrusters are, or why the fly-by-wire system is a true gift to airline companies in terms of economics. I will tell you, however, that as simple as the design of an airplane is, the function of each individual part is, in fact, very complex. The idea of something simple being complex is one that I have been experiencing during my time...

Oct 28 2018

There is Safety in Community

You know how you have that gut feeling, and you just know something in your heart to be true? I'm Ruby, and I just knew in my heart that I wanted to be in Tivnu the minute I heard about it. I’m so so so so SO lucky to have Tivnu. When I decided to create a piece of art about my Tivnu experience, I wanted to draw something that represented Portland and Tivnu at the same time. I was going to draw the bridges of Portland, but I didn’t want to-that wasn’t original...

Oct 23 2018

Hands Up! 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments

“Hands up!”, commanded Tyharra Cozier, a young African-American woman. “Don’t Shoot!” I and about a hundred other people - mostly white and middle-aged - shouted in response. We were all being held captive, under arrest - by Tyharra’s captivating and arresting performance. Because that’s what it was; Tyharra was an actor and all of us with our hands held high were her audience. She was performing a monologue called “How I Feel,” written by Dennis A. Allen II. It was the last act of the fittingly named play “Hands Up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments," a collection of seven monologues which...

Oct 9 2018

Street Roots: A Newsworthy Cause

My name is Aliza, and growing up with newspapers strewn across the kitchen table has given journalism a special place in my heart. In high school, I was co-editor of my school newspaper. Thanks to Tivnu’s amazing program director and some good luck, I am now able to continue pursuing this piece of my life through one of my Tivnu internships: Street Roots. Twice a week, I intern at Street Roots, a newspaper covering local, national, and social justice issues that is sold by houseless individuals (known as vendors) on Portland streets. I work alongside houseless individuals, as well as...

Jul 25 2018

Closing Thoughts on a “Whirlwind” Year

Each year, Tivnu holds an end of the year siyyum to celebrate our Tinvuniks' year of learning and growing. To close out Tivnu 4, our participants received a warm sendoff to their next adventures from staff, host families, supervisors, co-workers, and friends. As part of the ceremony, a few participants shared their reflections on the program and this moment of transition. Below, please enjoy Calvin Lyster's insightful, honest thoughts on what it is to experience the Tivnu gap year. "As I was feverishly trying to organize ancient dusty plates and plastic dollar store grasshoppers and unused MAX tickets and ReStore discount CDs...

Apr 24 2018

Cultivating a “Lifestyle of Awareness”

My name is Calvin Lyster. While making art is one of my main hobbies, I felt attending college straight after high school wouldn’t give me the satisfaction I need because I hadn’t yet found a real passion. I joined this gap year program to interact with different kinds of people, experience living more Jewishly, and explore different paths of life. So far, I have definitely not been disappointed....

Feb 4 2018

T4 Takes Mount Hood!

We had an awesome time on our Mount Hood trip, full of new experiences. Those from warmer climates had their first adventures in feet of snow, and even seasoned veterans of snowy winters got to try new things, from snowshoeing to cross country skiing to cosmic snow tubing. Here are some highlights from the trip! Cross country skiing! Ron leads the pack. Emma, Ari and Lauren put in some time on the inside of the growing igloo, packing in the snow that others shoveled. The igloo is gaining height...

Jan 4 2018

Leci Walks Through a Week with Tivnu

Here is a little bit about myself: First, I am Leci, I'm from Texas, and I say y’all at least 200 times a day, even if I'm only talking to one person. I came here to make a difference in a community setting, both directly with individuals and in a bigger picture....

Oct 19 2017

A Tivnu Sukkot: In a Hut and Off the Grid!

When my RA informed me that it was my turn to write a blog post, my initial reaction was one of violent stress. Tivnu is so chock-full of gloriously time consuming activities that sitting down and writing 5 paragraphs of text seemed like a monumental task....

Oct 3 2017

A Rosh Hashanah Adventure

Last week we celebrated the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Back home in LA, the High Holidays are always a big deal in my family. That is why it was hard for me to be away from my family for the first time during the holidays....