A sail on the Kinneret

July 6, 2016 by Hayley Hadassin
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The Zionist Federation of Australia has brought together 225 gap year program participants from across Israel for Rafsodia – a two day experience in which teams of up to 25 people build rafts (rafsodot) from scratch and sail them across the Kinneret.


In the three years since the ZFA started Rafsodia, it has become a highlight of the Israel gap year experience, which facilitates team work and planning, building not only sailing crafts but also developing and enhancing leadership skills The participants from AZCY youth movement programs – Betar, Bnei Akiva, Habonim Dror, Hashomer Hatzair, Hineni and Netzer along with those from Israel Highway and IBC worked side by side in 40 degree heat on the banks of the Sea of the Galilee.

The participants set up beside the water’s edge to build their crafts from bamboo, rope and huge tin cans. They then paint the sails and set off for the opposite shore.

Akiva (Kivi) Pilcer from Israel Highway said: – “It’s an awesome way to meet all your friends from other programs”

The various youth movements and programs used their artistic licence to decorate and set their sails to the wind. From political messaging to bright celebration – the strong wind carried them across the shore.


Orly Atzmon Habonim Dror shnat participant said: – “It’s such a great experience and so much fun to meet everyone. I absolutely loved it!”

David (Bookie) Bookman said: – “Rafsodia is an amazing opportunity to conclude the programs by meeting the other programs and having fun as well.”

Rafsodia is a ZFA initiative that facilitates a shared experience and bond through a common goal. It is also a way to bring together the youth movements, Israel Highway and IBC in a memorable way.

What better way to spend a night then by camping with hundreds of your peers under a 1500 star hotel with the shelter of canvas sails.

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