Students and parents often ask what can be taken from the Y2i experience. Y2i Israel programs provide students with an opportunity for self-development, exploring their Jewish heritage and making new friends. Here are 6 reasons why you should go on a Year 10 Israel Program.
Explore your identity
Teenage years can often be confronting for students, as they navigate through high school and society. It can be difficult for them to find their place in the world, or to come to terms with their identity and forge an individual path. A Year 10 Israel program provide students with an opportunity to experience personal growth, independence and connect with their individuality.
Travelling overseas and living in Israel enables students to develop life skills and learn to be independent from their parents and the comforts of home. Through the varied experiences offered on the program, students can engage in both educational and experiential growth, helping them navigate the final years of high school.
Parents often comment on the change they see in their children upon returning from Israel, with many of them becoming more independent, helpful, considerate, and passionate.
Explore your heritage
Y2i programs are developed with the intention of connecting students to Israel and their Jewish identity.
The programs provide students with a range of opportunities including; experiencing Shabbat in Israel, exploring both the ancient and modern Jewish homeland, and exploring their personal connection to Judaism.
The beauty of these experiences enables each student to develop an individual connection to their Jewish heritage and the role Judaism plays in their life. Many students return to Australia with a stronger connection to their Jewish roots and community, with a desire for greater communal engagement.
Exploring the land of Israel and all it has to offer, is a highlight of the trip for many students. Y2i Israel programs take students from the northern tip of the country to the southern beauty of Eilat, and everywhere in between. Each of the programs also have options giving students a chance to experience different aspects of life in Israel, from Gadna, to hikes and community service among other things.
Students not only learn about the history of the Jewish people and Israel by visiting and exploring the sites, but also delve into the many socio-political issues facing Israel and its society today. Seeing the beautiful sights that Israel has to offer, cultural experiences and being part of society, provides a holistic experience for students to understand life in Israel.
Spending five weeks or more in Israel, with students of the same age, is a unique experience offered by Y2i’s Israel programs. Students spend quality time with each other, living, exploring and learning together which leads to strong friendships and connections. Y2i programs are often the first opportunity many students have had to meet other Jewish students their age, with the friendships formed having a significant impact on their sense of self and values upon returning to Australia. For those students who attend programs with existing peers, the experiences forged in Israel are a fantastic opportunity to enhance friendships through formative bonding experiences.
An important component of Y2i Israel programs are the varied opportunities students have to volunteer and give back to Israeli society. Whilst in Israel, students have the chance to volunteer with children, work in the agricultural community, and use their individual skills to enhance the lives and experiences of others in Israeli society.
This not only teaches students to appreciate how fortunate they are individually, but also teaches them to work together to make a positive difference in the world.
Y2i also encourages students and program organisers to engage in volunteering opportunities when they return to Australia. This extends the Israel experience and enables students to reconnect with their peers once they have returned.
Y2i Israel programs provide students with more than just an Israel experience. They provide a framework for the development of a community of like-minded peers which become like family.
The sense of camaraderie and pride felt amongst the students throughout the program is amplified at the Y2i Community Day, where all programs come together to celebrate being in Israel and being part of the broader Jewish community in Australia.
Students are given a dual sense of community, their connection to their cohort of peers on their programs, and the broader group of Jewish peers from across the community. We have seen these connections grow and prosper as students return home and become involved in and engaged with the community. This sense of community fosters a strong and meaningful connection to Jewish identity, and often inspires students to become invested in community life in later years.