Livnot Onward Israel Health and Wellness Program

The program is a fusion of learning and hands-on experience in the field of health and wellness, involving nature, hiking, community service opportunities, and Jewish learning. This Onward Israel program offers a unique opportunity for participants to delve deeper Jewish roots, explore Jewish outlooks on body & soul, and experience meaningful, personal growth. Participants have the chance to learn subjects from the medical and paramedical fields in a region saturated with a wide range of health & wellness approaches. Each week we touch upon topics such as community building, personal growth, spirituality in health & wellness and repairing the world. 

Participants are undertaking a range of different internships as part of the program; from working with older people at the Tzfat Old Age Home, helping to build the JNF Blue Valley Nature Park or the Childhood Envelopment Centre. These are challenging but supportive, greatly assisting the organisations taking part as well as enriching the experience of the participants.

Now get to meet some of the participants:


Hello my name is Sarah Weiss. I am currently doing the 6 week Onward Israel Galilee Health and Wellness Program located in Tzfat, Israel. As soon as I returned home from my birthright program last summer, I knew I had to return to Israel, but instead of being ‘just another tourist’ I wanted to do something meaningful. It sounds really cheesy, but it’s an awesome feeling to walk down the old city, iced coffee in hand, and practice ‘Hebrish’ with the locals at a pizza parlour.  IMG_3173

Onward Israel has given me this perfect opportunity for me to return to Israel before I begin my post baccalaureate program in speech pathology in the fall. In my internship at the Tzfat Old Age home I shadow a speech therapist, recreational therapist, and provide companionship to the elderly.

What I particularly enjoy about the program thus far, is that there is never a typical day at Livnot. After we return from our internships we have a group activity which can range from winding conversations with Kabbalists about the concept of infinity or having an epic dance party while we cook Shashuka for our group dinner.

I’m looking forward to more waterfall hikes, huge Shabbat dinners, and maximum ‘sababa’ times!

IMG_2636Hi everyone! My name is Kelly Parker from South Florida. Lately, I’ve been backpacking around Israel with my younger brother and found my way back to Livnot U’Lehibanot (for the third time!!) I am currently participating in the 6 week Onward Israel Galilee Health and Wellness Program here in Tzfat.

My internship placement is located at the Ziv Hospital Child Development Center here in Tzfat. I work with kindergarten aged children who have different abilities. The Child Development Center has a beautiful playground and garden where the children play with toys invented by a genius named Eitan.  It has been such a joy so far working by his side and picking apart his brilliant mind.

Onward Israel has provided me the opportunity to work with the people I love the most (children) while also feeding my soul constantly with the help of Livnot’s magic.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to help and play with these incredible kids; although, they are really helping me.

Hi guys! My name is Danielle Newmark, and I’m from the Northshore of Chicago, Illinois. I began my summer in Israel with an extended Taglit birthright trip through Israel Adventure, and anticipating I’d want to extend, enrolled in the six week Onward Israel Galilee Health and Wellness Program with Livnot in Tzfat.IMG_2596

This program is nothing less than fulfilling, day in and day out. After I spend my morning volunteering at my internship at The Child Development Center, classes on Kabbalah, meditation sessions, or hikes abundant in DMCs (deep meaningful conversations) ensue. The thing that truly makes this place exceptional, however, is the ability Livnot has to create community. I can honestly say I’ve never been in such an accepting, comfortable environment –the people that happen upon Livnot have this spark about them that just emanates their individuality. I constantly look up to the way the other people present themselves. What’s cool is no one pretends that they know exactly who they are just yet, but as far as I’m concerned they always inspire me.

So thank goodness I still have another month with this group, and am ecstatic to continue meeting the one-week groups that come and go. I cannot put into words my gratitude to this place for the ideas, traditions, and at times confusion that it has instilled thus far.

Meir Paltiel
Meir Paltiel
[email protected]

Originally from Syracuse, NY, Meir received his BA in American History and Political Science from Tulane University and his MS in Resource Management from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry. He arrived in Israel in 1992, served in the Nahal Infantry Unit before moving to Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu. On Kibbutz, Meir was Assistant Manager of the... Read More