Gap Year Benefits

How is the Tivnu Gap Year different from all other gap years?

Twelve reasons to do a gap year

Because the school-to-school conveyer belt isn't right for everybody


I wanted to do a gap year to make new friends, learn about the world, and get out of my comfort zone. I ended up with new cooking, building, and allyship skills that I didn’t know I needed. And I got to live in the coolest city ever. 

– Emma G.

High School Football Star

High school grads have plenty of accomplishments designed to look good on college applications, but if that’s not all you’re about, you should come meet some people in Portland.

Reason 1 Hannah J

Do it for wider horizons

All throughout high school I found myself so busy with academics and other commitments that I didn’t have any time to explore new things and try out new interests. Doing a gap year, especially with this program, gives me that opportunity.

– Hannah J.

Ami F

Do it to make college better

Taking a gap year actually boosted my enthusiasm for academic learning. I was worried I would not want to return to school after a year without homework, but instead Tivnu reminded me why I love learning so much.

– Ami F.

Reason 3 Maddie D

Do it for the fresh start

Change in people, change in environment, change in routine. My mind and body were craving unconventional learning and exploring.

– Maddie D.

Reason 4 Brandi L

Do it for the real you

When searching for which gap year to do, Tivnu seemed like the perfect fit for me. I don’t have to be scared to be who I am. Tivnu accepts everything and everyone.

– Brandi L.


Do it for the community love

Living in a communal home with participants -- who quickly became friends -- taught me how to advocate for myself, communicate better with those around me, and make almost anything (including the dishes!) fun.

– Aliza S.

Reason 6 Amanda T

Do it for the independence

Tivnu showed me not only that I was capable, but that I could enjoy my independence by exploring everything Portland has to offer.

– Amanda T.

Reason 7 Emma N

Do it for the skills

I might say “tikkun 'olam,” but I can barely fix a broken toilet, much less the world! With Tivnu, I’ve been equipped with the tools to build life skills in myself in order to build lasting change in Portland.

– Emma N.

I fixed the shingles on my new apartment the other day!

– Emma G.


Do it for your big brain

I am excited to use my brain in a new way. I’m eager to devote myself to problem-solving, critical and creative thinking, and teamwork through my social justice internships, communal living, and new friendships.

– Bella S.

Reason 9 Desmond G

Do it for the direction

Definitely consider taking a year off from school. You will have time to recharge, preview adult life, discover new passions, and decide which interests you would like to pursue for the rest of your life.

– Desmond G.


Do it for your Jewish life

It is so fun and powerful to create a Jewish experience together, each of us bringing our own traditions. This is the first year I've felt totally in charge of my Jewishness.

– Lev E.B.

Reason 11 Avery K-F

Do it for yourself and others

I needed to find a community where social justice and mutual support were both important values. I am so grateful that Tivnu is giving me real, hands-on experience with this complex balancing act between focusing on others and focusing on myself.

– Avery K.F.


Do it for the rest of your life

It gave me such a deep love of social justice that I am continuing to work on it to this day and plan to for the rest of my life. Tivnu has opened doors for me to jobs that I could not have gotten without it.

– Ben L.