The Australia Arava Partnership in collaboration with the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) has sent four madrichim to work at a Summer Camp in the Central Arava for the second year running.
The Melbourne youth leaders were selected and trained to run a summer camp in the Arava together with the local Israeli madrichim (youth leaders.) The project serves to enhance the connection between Australia the Arava which is the key objective of the partnership. Partnership2gether (P2G) is the global living bridge project of the Jewish Agency for Israel aimed at connecting Israeli communities with Diaspora communities. The Central Arava region was “adopted” by Australia as our partnership community in 1995 and the relationships and joint projects which have emerged from the partnership have been varied, broad and deep.
The Aussie madrichim used their informal leadership skills to teach English to the campers in an experiential and enjoyable way as well as leading a range of camp activities. More importantly, their presence and the relationships they developed with the children of the Arava provided a tangible Australian connection to the local youth as well as to the broader Arava community.
Idan Gafin, a former Habonim Dror madrich said: – “The community in the Arava is so hospitable; I had a great time at Shabbat dinner with a local family, which gave me an opportunity to hear about what day to day life is like in the Arava. The children became very familiar with the Australian madrichim and I have really connected with them during the camp- they are always excited to see us!”
The four madrichim were an integral part of the camp’s leadership team and led various activities. They brought a unique perspective to the camp and encouraged the use of English throughout the day.
Corey Posner, a former Habonim Dror madrich from Melbourne was able to create a strong bond with the Arava community 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 fun and totally different from running one in Australia.”
During their free time the Aussies enjoyed 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.
Aimee Raitman former youth movement participant and Flying Fox buddy found the relationship between the people and the environment inspiring: – “I was so excited to visit the Arava for the first time. We have been taken on amazing tours of the desert and moshav with local tour guides, and I have gained such an appreciation for the natural environment here, and the way in which scarce natural resources are used to the advantage of the agricultural community here. ”
Havah Klajn, a former Hineni madricha, has loved being back in the Arava after spending a month there as part of her Hineni shnat experience. “Everyone is warm and hospitable, with a really strong sense of community. The moshavim are really close-knit and it’s been amazing getting to be a part of that and leading in the camp.”
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 text book 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. ”
The AAP is currently recruiting for 3 Research Interns for a unique 4 – 6 month internship at the world-class Research and Development Centre in the Central Arava, commencing December 2018.
Applications for this highly subsided program close on 3/10/2018 and can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For more details call Stacy Hayman on +61 3 9272 5531