March 31, 2024


This blog post was created by Dalia B., a Tivnu gap year participant from Los Angeles, CA. Dalia interns at Portland Animal Welfare Team and at Tivnu construction. She will attend Hofstra University in the fall.

Connections is a New York Times word game where players have to connect words into four groups of four. Each group has something in common which could be a suffix, a common theme, similar meanings, etc. Over the past few weeks my roommate and I have been creating TIVnections, a Tivnu version of the popular NYT game. There have been two different puzzles so far with mostly inside jokes for our friends to complete. Adinah, Tivnu’s Program Director, approached us one day with the idea of making a more accessible TIVnections for people to play who are interested in Tivnu, past participants, or really anyone who finds themselves on this page. Below I have listed the answers and some words explaining how they relate to Tivnu. DON’T CHEAT! Try the game first, and then come back here to read about the answers. Here is the link to the game.

Go play…. I’ll wait.

(While you play, here are some photos of Tivnu 10 with the baby goats at Hazelnut Grove, one of the tiny house villages for unhoused Portlanders where we work. The baby goats are scared of cheetahs.)

Ok. Hopefully you did not cheat and you are here because you want to understand the thought process behind the solutions.

The yellow group is made up of words with the suffix “-ship.” At Tivnu, we make long lasting connections both socially and professionally. It’s nice to have someone who I know would write a killer letter of recommendation for me. So far, through scholarships, anyone who has been accepted into Tivnu has been able to participate regardless of their financial situation. Most gap year programs and colleges cannot say this.

The green group is all local Portland sports teams. These sports teams include basketball, soccer, roller derby, and minor league baseball. At the beginning of the year for a fun activity, we went to see our local roller derby team, the Rose City Rollers. (They are currently the #1 team in the country!) It was so cool to see the incredible strength and skill that goes into a contact sport on roller skates.

The blue group’s connection is that all the words include a double E. This relates to Tivnu because we have an educational curriculum that runs throughout the entire program. Twice a week we have what we call “educational explorations,” or “EEs,” where we learn about systemic social justice issues, historical events, Judaism, and so much more. These impactful lessons help us become more independent thinkers and empathetic leaders.

The purple group consists of tools that we use every day in construction. Tivnu participants learn basic construction skills throughout the gap year, and we use those skills to service tiny home villages and nonprofit organizations. This year we have worked at several job sites including Hazelnut Grove (self governed tiny home village), Gather Make Shelter (nonprofit arts organization), Kenton Women’s Village (tiny home village), and plenty of others.

You never know what you’ll get into on the job site

Thanks for playing! I hope you find lots of ways to connect with Tivnu.

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