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My Livnot Experience: Michelle Sharkansky, Onward Israel Internship

Blue Valley JNF Nature Reserve Livnot Tzfat By: Dave Young, Onward Israel/Livnot U’Lehibanot Intern June 29, 2015 Michelle Sharkansky has had the exciting opportunity to work in the Emet Hatechelet (Blue Valley) Nature Reserve in Tzfat for the last five weeks. She is getting ready to finish up her internship, but today she took time out of her day to talk to me about her experience at the reserve and how her work has impacted her life. “I love working at the reserve. I’ve learned so much about different plants and animals. I got to feed goats, help apples grow, cultivate almonds, and lots more. Some of my favorite animals to interact with at the reserve are donkeys, chickens, and horses. I was always interested in working with animals, but never actually had the chance until this summer. This internship has opened my eyes to a new side of nature that I am extremely thankful for.” Tzfat Israel Cuisine Humus“I love working in Tzfat. The people are so welcoming and quaint. I hear ‘shalom’ constantly on the street on my way to and from work. I’ve enjoyed learning from all the different personalities of the fascinating local people I have met. It is such a drastic change of pace from New York City. I’m always going to have a special love for the big city in my heart, but small town Israel life is amazing. Working in this environment has been such a valuable experience for me to take back to America.” “Because of the importance of water in such a dry region, I’ve learned so much about the value and impact hydration can have on the environment. We water every plant daily and are conscious of all the aspects involved in the irrigation process because of the shear value of the water. Birds will sometimes try to peck at the hoses and we are aware of it every time it happens. We take precautions to keep it from impacting the plant life, while being sure never to harm the birds. It’s all actually very complicated, while still maintaining a certain beautiful simplicity. Sometimes we have to think outside the box and I love that about my job.” Nature Internship Livnot Tzfat Israel“I came here after recently changing my major. I have been doing a lot of internal and external searching to really find my own passion and what I want to do with my life. This internship has shown me so much about nature and the world. I know that no matter what I choose to do in life, I’m always going to care about the environment. The friends I’ve met on this internship are far from short term. I’m going to come back and visit the reserve many times in the future. I’m excited for what is to come.” We’re very excited for Michelle and wish her nothing but the best in the future. If you’re a former, current, or future Livnot chevre who wants to share your story, please contact info@livnot.org.  

Shayna
Shayna Rehberg
shayna@livnot.org

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.