Aussie madrichim spend summer in the Arava

August 29, 2017 by Hayley Hadassin
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The Australia Arava Partnership in collaboration with the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) initiated a new project to enhance the connection between Australia the Arava.

Five former youth leaders were selected from Melbourne and Sydney and sent to the Central Arava region to run a summer camp together with the local madrichim (youth leaders.)

The Aussie madrichim taught the Israeli kids English and provided a tangible Australian connection to the local youth as well as the broader community.

P2G is the global living bridge project aimed at connecting Israeli communities with Diaspora communities. The Central Arava region was “adopted” by Australia as our partnership community in 1995.

Hannah Sharp former Habonim madricha from Melbourne, said: – “The community in the Arava were so hospitable, with numerous dinner invitations and different residents taking us on various tours to different parts of the region, meaning we have been able to discover lots about the area we are living in. The children become very familiar with the Australian madrichim and were always excited to see us!”

The five madrichim were an integral part of the camp’s leadership team and lead various activities. They brought a unique perspective to the camp and encouraged the use of English throughout the day.

Beau Landes former Habonim madrich from Melbourne was able to create a strong bond with the Arava whilst there: – “I established a great connection with the Israeli chanichim (kids) and madrichim. It was a real privilege to lead a camp in Israel which was totally different from running one in Australia.”

During their free time the five Aussies enjoyed moshav life as well as additional activities, such as; tours, encounters with people from the Arava and daily life with their adoptive families.

Yoav Silverstein former madrich from Habonim in Sydney found the relationship between the people and the environment moving: – “The desert experience was very inspiring and the community are so connected to the environment and each other.”

Since April 2014, the Arava Australia Partnership has been an affiliate of the Zionist Federation of Australia. The Australia Arava Partnership has been exchanging delegations of various types, to help strengthen the bond, create personal relationships and allow for the development and enrichment of both communities’ cultures.

Arava Australia Partnership National Coordinator Stacy Hayman said: “There is no book or text or experience that can create a personal connection to Israel as honestly, strongly and genuinely as simply being in Israel. The madrichim managed to bring a little piece of Australia to the camp which was an incredible and unforgettable experience.”

For more details call Stacy Hayman on +61 3 9272 5531. The AAP is currently recruiting two kinder or early primary school teachers from an Australian Jewish Day Schools to discover the Arava on the teacher exchange program. Program dates are 21 December 2017 – 11 January 2018. Applications for this highly subsided program close on 8/9/2017 and can be obtained by emailing arava@zfa.com.au

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