My name is Yael Noy and I was the young Habonim Shlicha in Cape Town in 2016. I was a maddricha on Machaneh Kol L’Chofesh 2014, taking the Sollelim age group. The following year (2015) I joined them on Shorashim in Israel as the Israeli maddricha on the tzevet, and in 2015 I was their Sayarim maddricha, leading and challenging them in peulot and learning from them once more.
I was lucky to join the kids for these three consecutive events and with that, I saw what an amazing influence Shorashim had on our channnichim.
Shorashim is a 3 week long tour that 15-16 year olds get to explore Israel from a first-hand experience. After working with several programs that bring youth from the diaspora to Israel, if you ask me, Shorashim is one of the best Israel programs that are offered.
The kids get to explore Israel fully, from North to South and from left to right. Being exposed to all the different topics, current issues, history of the land and people, and get involved in the spiced up diverse Israeli culture. This is a strong emotional, cultural and educational journey, and believe me, they learn way more than we can realise.
Learning about most topics to do with Israel can’t be fully understood by textbooks or through the media especially when we want to form and create our own opinions. In order to fully feel what it is to be a Jew and to get that unique feeling of belonging to Israel, being physically there is essential.
Taking a look at the social aspect, this usually sets the tone of the whole program for the kids.
A friendly safe and fun environment is what they need to make this trip successful.
Shorashim includes all their closest friends, and their friends from different cities that they know deeply from camp. Their maddrichim are also a huge game changer, since they have made amazing connections on camp. Going on a tour when the guide in charge is as close to you as an older brother, knowing you can trust the madrichim and that the kids can approach them for anything isn’t something you find anywhere else.
Educationally, gaining a full understanding and seeing with their own two eyes the current conflicts within the Israeli society, knowing that the channichim are mature enough to deal with a wide range of topics will allow them to be challenged and start questioning their own knowledge because they can now understand the complexity of many situations in Israel.
Other than education, clearly this is an unbelievably fun tour. They will hike, swim, sing, take an endless amount of selfies, shop, try new foods, flavors and see the natural beauty of Israel. From crazy vibrant Tel Aviv to the calm Kibbutz up north, to spiritual Jerusalem, to snorkeling in the Red sea and lots and lots more.
Seeing the spark in the eyes of the channichim that I took on Shorashim 2015 was impeccable. Every morning they would wake up happy and just waiting to go explore more. The curiosity that grew in them was burning like a wild fire. Wanting to learn and engage more, step by step. I think that we actually realised how much they learned only on this recent Sayarim Machaneh. During the different discussions and peulot, we could see how much they gained from being in Israel. The gap between the understanding and knowledge between the channichim that went on Shorashim and the ones that didn’t was massive. They were able to see things differently and to tell their friends from their personal experience.
I truly wish that every Sayarim channich could go to Israel before machaneh, knowing that they will be dealing with many topics during camp, and Shorashim seems like the only way to do so.
As an Israeli, I think that for the diaspora Jews, Israel is a second home, and you can’t feel that without being there and having the experiences that you will get from Shorashim.
I fully agree when they say that Shorashim is a life changing experience.
Cape Town young Shlicha 2015-2016
Shorashim Maddricha 2015