The feeling you get from doing a hard job, and doing it well. Big things like designing an alternative energy network for a homeless encampment, and small things too, like cooking a communal meal or being a dependable resource at work. 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.

Future Success.

Gap year participants develop the kind of connectedness and confidence, independence and purpose that make future studies and work a success, and stay with a person for a lifetime.

Make a Difference.

We live in a world that needs your skills – whether it is building houses with Habitat for Humanity, or planting a community garden with kids at the local school. These aren’t projects dreamed up in a teacher’s lounge – they’re dreamed up by people for whom the American dream is an ambition, not a presumption.

How will your child enhance their sense of empathy and expand their universe of responsibility, now that they’ve graduated from high school? It’s the big challenge for an emerging adult: it’s not just about getting older, it’s about maturing, understanding oneself, and gaining the skills and wisdom to be a part of the larger community. Some of it is about learning to shop and cook and clean alongside people from diverse backgrounds and with a wide range of Jewish experiences. Parents know it’s more than that, too.

Tivnu is an opportunity for young people to spread their wings a lot wider than many kids do when they move into their freshman dorm. Working every day with homeless families or immigrant school children is an opportunity to expand their community of caring to people in all of life’s stages and circumstances. Tivnu combines hands-on work experience with the satisfaction of making a perceptible difference in other people’s lives. We combine training in small-scale problem-solving, mediating conflict, and managing resources with expanding our understanding of the global-scale challenges we face. And we embark on that journey toward purpose and awareness guided by our commitment to a Jewish world that is open, diverse, and driven to make the world better. For our neighbors. For our wider society. And for our kids on Tivnu, too.

Parents Welcome 1We know that Tivnu’s hands-on experiential approach is an alternative to the way things are done in more traditional educational settings. We also know that our perspective – that being out in the world is the best way to cultivate empathy and build justice – can be appreciated just as much by future college all-stars as those on a less traditional path. Making the transition to adulthood can feel like you’re lost at sea. We’re not offering a life-preserver; we’re offering a compass. Not just for the Tivnu year — for life.

Featured Gap Year Participant

Learn how the Tivnu Gap Year changes the lives of participants and the community

Tivnu in the NY Times

Taking a gap year at home can be as meaningful as doing one abroad.
Featured in The New York Times
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