My Livnot Experience: Jared Solomon

Hike Israel LivnotMy name is Jared and, like many other young Jews, I initially came to Israel on Birthright intending to seek something more meaningful than what I was getting from back in South Florida. Birthright was a great experience. It got me motivated and in touch with Israel. However, after it ended I wasn’t prepared  for continuing my journey without any guidance.

I spent a week on the beach of Tel Aviv soaking up the sunshine, but not soaking up any fulfillment. Plus I live on the beach in South Florida so sandy beaches and sunshine weren’t on my priority list. I heard how beautiful Greece and its islands are so I went there next. I spent a month and a half backpacking the Greek islands and Italy.  Feeling less fulfilled and more in debt I decided to come back to the only place that had given me any sense of fulfillment.  Unfortunately my trip back didn’t start off any different than my Italy/Greece experience.  Most of time I was sitting around or wandering around all day trying to figure out what to do next.

Volunteer Israel LivnotEventually I came across someone who just finished a program in Tzfat called Livnot. It sound like everything I was  looking for: affordable, spiritual but not too religious, offering myself through volunteering in the community, and experiencing Israel and Judaism in nature by unforgettable hikes. The staff were so incredible; I had a hard time believing they were actually real people. The week flew by! After finishing the program my only regret was that I hadn’t heard of Livnot sooner. I was able to find that spark that Taglit initially gave me and keep it going. I now feel I am on a path to further explore myself and my Judaism.  I am forever grateful for the experience Livnot gave me and wish anyone else the same opportunity.

-Jared Solomon (NE94)

Shayna Rehberg
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Shayna Rehberg straddles the Gen X/Millennial divide in Tzfat with her four unique and creative children as an ‘unlabeled’ Jew. In all her spare time she also enjoys music, photography, blogging, collecting knives and teacups, swapping stories, and shopping in the shuk.