Thanks to the partnerships between Young Judaea (America), the Federation of Zionist Youth (Britain), and the tsofim/scouts (Israel), we are able to create a truly diverse environment on Year Course. Several tsofim have chosen to defer their army service for one year in order to do a shnat sheirut (year of service) volunteering, just like their counterparts from YJ and FZY. These tsofim live in Bat Yam the entire year, in apartments with your children. Below is an beautiful account from one apartment on Livorno Street, from the perspective of the American chanichim and their Israeli roommate.
Life in Livorno 11: American Style
We got to the doors and smelled the fresh produce. We entered the market, thinking we had it in the bag, but then hell broke loose. Fruit falling, shopping carts colliding, weird symbols on the walls, with only our stipend money in hand, we dodged the oncoming traffic. We’re just four girls from the United States trying to find our way around a foreign place. Thank goodness we have our scout, Noy.
Coming to Israel with little prior knowledge, we barely knew what we were getting ourselves into. Noy not only helped us ease into life in Bat Yam, she has been constant security blanket as well. We’ve counted on her to show us the correct bus stops, inform us where we’re going, and introduce us to modern Israeli culture. She showed us where the best falafel places are, and where to find the coolest clubs in Tel Aviv. She’s there to help us with our Hebrew homework, and also our everyday Israeli dialect. She’s not just an Israeli scout, she’s one of us. We laugh, dance, share stories, and have come to depend on each other… and let’s not forget about our amazing family dinners. Life in Livorno 11 wouldn’t be the same without her.
Life in Livorno 11: Israeli Style
It is a great experience to live and get to know a different culture. Whenever we sit down and share stories about our lives, we find things that are similar and different. It’s always interesting to hear from each other. Sometimes I feel like I’m teaching my babies to speak, live, and shop for the first time.
For me, it’s a whole different world. It’s like I’m in America, but I’m in Israel. I find my two worlds colliding. Sometimes I find myself thinking in English, or even talking to other Israelis in English. I know my goal is to help teach them, but they’re teaching me just as much. Obviously I was nervous before it started but with time, my nervousness has vanished. We’ve become the best of friends in our new home.
:Life in Livorno 11
We’re realizing just how much time has gone by and how much we’ve cherished it. We want to utilize these last two months together to truly make Livorno 11 an unforgettable home.
,Love, the Girls of Livorno 11
Noy Shalev (Rosh Haayin, Israel), Yael Nurko (Newton, Massachusetts), Tamar Gaffin-Cahn (Newton Massachusetts), Robyn Levy (Sudbury, Massachusetts), Ilyssa Weinstein (Santa Rosa, California)