Thanksgiving on Nativ


Essay written by Jonah Tecktiel from Nativ 42

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving but being in Israel for the year I was sad to be missing some of my family’s Thanksgiving traditions. However, when I got to Nativ’s Thanksgiving dinner everything changed! After some dairy “pre-sert” (otherwise known as pre-dessert, a tradition a friend from Nativ brought from home), we walked into a room where I was surrounded by my new friends, fall themed decor, and the smell of a turkey. We watched touching videos about what we were all thankful for and then received surprise mail – the first mail I had gotten since coming here. Heartfelt letters were practically bursting out of the envelopes we were handed. Parents and siblings, aunts and uncles, friends and grandparents all took time out of their busy lives to write to us. After sitting around the table and enjoying a delicious turkey dinner, we benched and then began our “Ameri-tish” – a Nativ tradition of singing American songs instead of the traditional Shabbat songs we sing at Tisch.  As a leadership program, all of this was put together by the Nativ participants ourselves (except for our surprise letters!) and it felt great to be part of the Nativ community.

As Rosh Chodesh, Thanksgiving, and Shabbat all merged, Nativ had more in store for all of us with a Shabbat Kehila. We had a wonderful activity in which we were better able to connect with one another and then began our shabbat with a beautiful Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv. Over our Shabbat filled with laughter, tfilot and eating, we learned about Jacob and the ladder of Angels, and spoke about the tools around us that we could use to make the most out of our year together in Israel. We sang havdallah as a community, joined by a conservative young adult group from Berlin, separating Shabbat from the rest of the week.

The long weekend served as a microcosm of my whole experience on Nativ. We were able to hang out with friends, enjoy the magic of Jerusalem and participate in engaging programs within a supportive community.

The early application deadline for Nativ closes on December 15th- apply now for $500 off this transformative year in Israel!

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