Kol HaTnua - Voice of the Movement Year Course: A New Adventure – Anna Stewart
For years, I have been anxiously anticipating going on Young Judaea Year Course and taking on an amazing new adventure. Now that I am finally here, it has been more than I could have imagined. From meeting new friends from all around the world, to having fascinating discussions with my peers, to weekend trips around the country, and even just days relaxing on the beach, these past three months have been amazing. Already, this experience has been transformative and one I know will have an impact on the rest of my life.
Year course brings together a group of people from different backgrounds and gives them the opportunity to learn from each other and their greater community. By providing each participant with classes, volunteer placements, chances to visit different groups from across the country, and free time to explore on their own, it opens up each person’s mind to new points of view and opinions. Not only this, but people from different countries, including scouts from Israel and an FZY delegation from England, are all living in one building and sharing their different cultures. One of the most remarkable things about Year Course is that it is a place where people are both learning to grow up and are learning from the new people and places around them. This mix of education means it is not an unusual sight to find people discussing their views on different important topics at the kitchen table at midnight while their grilled cheese is cooking.
So far, my most significant experience has been my volunteer placement at UNITAF, a daycare for children of refugees who do not have Israeli status. Being exposed to a new community of people who are working to survive in a country that they did not originate from has had a large impact on my Israel experience. Being surrounded by teachers who are passionately working to help kids and families has taught me so much about giving back to both your own community, and others in need. Everything I have done thus far has shown me different sides of Israeli culture, something I could not have experienced on any other program, and I am so excited to see what the next six months will have in store.