Aussie Madrichim to spend Summer in the Arava

May 13, 2019 by Hayley Hadassin
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The Australia Arava Partnership in collaboration with the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) has selected five madrichot to work at a Summer Camp in the Central Arava during the Australian winter for the third year running.

Basya Vorcheimer, Nitzan Lang and Peninah Silverstein

The Melbourne youth leaders were selected and are being trained to run a summer camp together with the local madrichim (youth leaders.) The project serves to enhance the connection between Australia the Arava which is the key objective of the partnership.  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.

The Aussie madrichim will use their informal leadership skills to teach English to the campers in an experiential and enjoyable way as well as lead a range of camp activities. More importantly, their presence and the relationships they develop with the children of the Arava will provide a tangible Australian connection to the local youth as well as to the broader Arava community.

Basya Vorchheimer, a 2017 graduate of Leibler Yavneh College, has extensive leadership experience from Bnei Akiva MelbourneFlying Fox Camp Sababa Melbourne and Chabad Sparks.  She said: – “I am ecstatic to be joining the Arava Summer camp in a month’s time! Growing up I’ve always been intrigued by how other people live their lives, so I feel like this will be a perfect experience for me. I can’t wait to be able to contribute to the community there as much as I can and learn so much from their way of life. I’m so grateful to have this opportunity from the Arava Australia Partnership and hope to give the Israeli chanichim an inspiring and meaningful summer camp experience!”

The five madrichim will be an integral part of the camp’s leadership team and lead various activities. They will bring a unique perspective to the camp and encourage the use of English throughout the day.

Nitzan Lang’s impressive leadership experience hails from Flying Fox where she volunteered for three years and also from the first ever Buzz Taglit-Birthright Israel trip for adults with disabilities where she was a buddy:- “I am so looking forward to my time in the Arava and am counting down the days. I am excited to get to know to the children and run fun programs but also, to simply get to know the area better and get a taste of life in the Arava.”

Aimee Raitman former youth movement participant and Flying Fox buddy will return to the camp for the second time “Last year in the Arava was such a positive and impactful experience for me and I am so excited to be returning again this year, looking forward to seeing the wonderful kids again and spending more time in my favourite part of Israel!”

During their free time, the Aussies will enjoy moshav life on Ein Yahav as well as additional activities, such as; tours, encounters with people from the Arava and daily life with their adoptive families.

Peninah Silverstein former Hineni madricha and current Hineni Shnat Rakezet, “I am so excited to return back to my favourite place in Israel, the Arava where I spent a month during my gap year teaching English at the school!! I cannot wait to be part of the community there again and enjoy the desert summer!”

Mayan Gafin, former Diller Teen Fellows Melbourne Junior Councillor, Flying Fox volunteer and recent participant in Project Ten in Ethiopia is no stranger to the Arava as she spent a month living there and attending school as a year 10 student.

Mayan believes: – “As someone who values education, I hope to gain another perspective of learning and teaching through the different styles of learning in the Arava. I also hope that through interaction with the children of the Arava, I will gain a holistic understanding of the area and feel more comfortable connecting this part of Israel with the Melbourne Jewish community.’

Over the years, the Australia Arava Partnership has facilitated various delegations between the communities – including youth and students, to professional and special interest groups. Each of these visits has strengthened the bonds between people, created personal relationships and enriched the respective 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 will each bring a little piece of Australia to the camp and create meaningful engagement with the Israeli children. ”

The AAP is currently recruiting Teachers for their Teacher Exchange program in the Central Arava, commencing 30 December until 22 January 2020.

Applications for this highly sought after fully subsidised program close on 30/06/2019 and can be obtained by emailing

For more details call Stacy Hayman on +61 3 9272 5531

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