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Thinking About Going on a Gap Year Program?

January 26, 2016
By SSLI Alumni Department

My name is Melanie Eisenberg and I graduated from SSHSLI in 2011. I am currently on my last semester at Binghamton and I am looking forward to graduation this upcoming May!  I want to share my experiences with current Schecter students thinking about going on a gap year program such as Year Course.

When I was a senior at SSHSLI(class of '11), I made a life changing decision to spend a year in Israel before heading off to college. The program I attended, Young Judaea Year Course, gave me an entirely new perspective on the world. I have come to understand a great deal about the culture of my people, and what it is like to truly live in Israel as an Israeli, not as a tourist. I volunteered for three months in a Bedouin tent where I was exposed to a unique group of people and learned so much about coexistence and its realistic possibility. Coming from a small Jewish day school, my eyes were opened to a group of people who had much to teach me about their culture and way of life. In addition to the volunteering component of the program, there is also a rigorous academic course of study. I have not only seen this country with my eyes, but through my feet. I have taken courses in Israeli history, politics, literature, women’s roles in religion and philosophy, as well as attended weekly-guided tours to different parts of the country. I promise you there is a difference between learning about history to actually seeing its legacy. If you or someone you know is intrigued by the opportunity to take a gap year in Israel before college, please do not hesitate to contact me at with any questions/concerns you might have!

Posted in Class of 2011
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