In cognizance of the importance of the young generation's exposure to their mates around the world, Hakfar Hayarok is engaged in various programs of exchanging youth delegations from different countries.
This cultural immersion program is coordinated and supported by the
Israel Youth Exchange Council
whose basic concept enterprises the assumption that becoming familiar with the mosaic of people and cultures around the world assists in structuring a foundation of common values of tolerance, democracy and respect for human rights .
The "youth exchange" aims at providing a unique, mutually enriching, high-quality and personalized exchange experience. It broadens the knowledge and acquaintance of partner countries. The intercultural meeting and interaction between Israeli and multinational and multicultural youth worldwide enhances and reinforces friendships which are anchored in an atmosphere of mutual respect, comprehension and exposure to diversified cultures that brings about educational, cultural and social cooperation
Hakfar Hayarok's youth exchange initiative acknowledges the value of exposing youth around the world to diverse cultural settings. We offer students from various countries the opportunity to visit Israel and partake in tours, field trips, and other educational activities, which expose them to the many facets of life in Israel. Students have host families with whom they stay and experience ' first hand the Israeli daily life style.
In exchange, our students travel to other countries and are hosted by families of participating affiliate schools.
Our students visit host families for a week during Israeli school holidays. The following year, students from the host families abroad visit Israel and are hosted by the families of the youth who they hosted the previous school year.
Hedva Epstein- coordinator
Youth Exchange program
Tel/fax : 972-3- 5497606
HAKFAR HAYAROK , ISRAEL- JUSTUS-KNECHT GYMNASIUM, BRUCHSAL, GERMANY
Building bridges while strengthening German –Israeli youth ties, based on shared values, the youth exchange project between Hakfar Hayarok and Justus Knecht Gymnasium in Bruchsal , offers the educational opportunity to relate experiences and learn tolerance and foster friendly relations between the young people of the two countries.
Every year during Spring time, 20 young people from Hakfar Hayarok , chaperoned by two teachers, are being hosted by German families in Bruchsal. They open their homes and hearts and make them feel part of their families.
Our students attend classes, take part in the extra -curricular activities and learn about the German educational system. They are exposed to the different cultural and national monuments, tourist sites of the area and get acquainted with their partners' social life.
Bearing in mind the past, while looking forward to developing a future of friendship the students of both schools visit the former concentration camp "Struthof" and participate in a co memorial ceremony in the old Jewish cemetery .
During their reciprocal visit in Israel, our German partners are exposed to the Israeli educational system , experience the social life of the Israeli youth and visit the tourist sites of the country.
The utmost event is the visit to "Yad Vashem" Holocaust museum and the memorial ceremony performed by the delegates of the two countries, both in Hebrew and in German.
Without forgetting the past we build bridges to the future.
"INSTRUMENTS OF PEACE" AACHEN FESTIVAL 2009.- YOU BELONG TO US WE BELONG TO YOU
Initiative begegnungen 2005- encounters 2005
The European city of Aachen has initiated an encounter with the aim to promote communication and cooperation as a demonstration by young people against xenophobia and racism.
4 musicians and 2 dancers, chaperoned by the head of the Music Department in Hakfar Hayarok had been invited to this outstanding international encounter of young people of different religions and nations from Israel , Taiwan and Europe. They were offered the opportunity to get to know each other and campaign, through their music and dance, for a peaceful, democratic and cosmopolitan society.
They were introduced to the German youth's life style and educational system while being hosted by families who have opened their homes and hearts and made them feel part of a big family. Being exposed to the large variety of religious symbols and ceremonies, through the Jewish "Kabalat Shabat" in the Synagogue and the Mass in the Cathedral of Aachen has strengthened and enhanced the "Dialogue between the Religions." The trips around the country broadened their horizons.
YOUNG AMBASSADORS STUDENTS EXCHANGE PROGRAM (YASE).
Building friendship based on common values, the YASE program is initiated and supported by the Israeli Youth Exchange Council and The America- Israel Friendship League (AIFL), whose mission is to strengthen the ties between the people of the United States and Israel , to bridge distances and to reveal the beauty, the humanity and the modern democratic values that define both nations.
The "Youth Ambassadors" partake in a month-long adventure that is both exciting and rigorous. Immersed in a world both new and familiar, our students discover the wonders of unknown cultures, and, when American and Israeli youth visit each other's homes they are exposed to life changing experiences, and benefit from the comfort of shared values.
The program also builds character and self-esteem, and encourages future plans for education and career. Once achieved, our students learn to apply their new cross-cultural understanding, confidence and sense of purpose in developing leadership skills.
Enclosed is Lidia Shevtzov's, one of the 10 Hakfar Hayarok's Young Ambassadors to the USA, experience:
Live the American Dream
Our journey to the land of McDonalds
It seems to me like only yesterday we arrived at Ben-Gurion airport, said goodbye to our parents and for the first time ( for most of us ) had our passport controlled all alone. We were eager to start our 17 day adventure in an unknown turf lying ahead of us THE US
It was a memorable experience never to be forgotten.
17 wonderful days, full of so many happenings gone by so fast that we’re lucky to have pictures, to believe that it had really happened.
“How was it?” everyone keeps asking. “Amazing”, I say.
But it’s not even close to describe the really amazing experience we had, in this huge continent.
It was my first time in the US, and I’m happy that I had the opportunity to experience it with wonderful people. Hedva our devoted chaperon Thank you for a job well done! We love you!
After an exhausting flight (almost around the world) we arrived at our final destination Tuscon, Arizona..
In Tucson we were warmly welcomed by JCC’S (Jewish Community Center) representatives who took us to meet our hosting families. Every morning we visited Tucson and its vicinity accompanied by the J.C.C representatives. I must say that Tucson is one of the most beautiful cities that I had the chance to visit.
The city is completely flat, surrounded by spectacular mountains, and 300 year old cacti everywhere.
We met American teenagers and were shocked to find out how little they know about Israel. The questions were hilarious. Surprisingly they didn’t ask if we still ride camels in the country, but they did ask if we have music.
We spent the weekend with our hosting families. We were lucky that this year Hlloween was on Saturday, so we dressed up and went trick- or –treat You just knock on people's front doors and they give you candies. Awesome!
At night my hostess, some friends and I went through a haunted corn maze in a corn field,. People wearing masks jumped on us out of nowhere and chased us with a saw. We had so much fun!
On Monday we went to our hosts' schools. I presented Israel in five classes out of six. The students were intrigued and attentive.. They wanted to know more about our tiny country that stars on television. They were amazed that we have such an advanced technology and that we live neither in a desert nor in a cave. (they didn’t ask about camels. Go figure).
That day, I felt as a real ambassador. To them I was the face of the entire state of Israel. I knew that every fact about Israel would affect so many teenagers…
It's obvious that the situation was stressful. I was proud and confident to stand there facing all those teenagers and tell them important facts about our country. It was a great responsibility and the more questions the kids asked, the more we realized how crucial our task was. We needed to be very politically correct, and still present our truth while answering the most difficult questions, the political ones. I would like to point that we did a fine job and that Israel has made some very good friends in the US..
. We fell in love with Tucson that much that we didn’t want to leave in fact, we had thoughts about skipping NYC and DC. Our stay with the hosting families was a very powerful experience. We felt like a part of the family. The families opened their homes and hearts to us, and for a week we lived as American teens. It had been a unique experience a real taste of the US in a special way, which we could never have had otherwise and definitely would never forget.... We gained a new home, in the other part of the globe.
We left Tucson with our Americans, depressed and already missing the place we left 10 minutes ago.
Arriving at D.C. was a beginning of a whole new and enjoyable experience. In Washington DC we met the rest of the Israeli delegation members from other schools and r delegations from the hosting cities.
. Washington DC certainly has its charm. We arrived and were breathless. The colorful trees glowing in deep red We hosted them in our homes. .and gold , the Capitol Hill, Washington monument, Lincoln monument (how big is the seated man!) and the Holocaust museum. How can one forget the White House? Most impressive was the Kabalat Shabat. It was a beautiful and very touching ceremony that we shared with the American youth.
Our last stop was ,of course, New York. How can one do without visiting The Big Apple? Our excitement grew when we arrived “just like in the movies”, and I felt the spin webs on the walls….
Our hotel was located right in Mid Town Manhattan. Close to everything!
We hiked the paths of the amazing Central Park, Times sq, Brooklyn bridge ,the Statue of Liberty and the highlight of the visit was sitting on the chairs of the Israeli representatives at the UN.
New York – is a different world. A world where people can eat anything – as long it comes inside a bagel, to go. We had the chance to explore New York by ourselves, like real New Yorkers, in our free time. We had the chance to experience New York, and to live the US, among American teens, that we really became attached to. This was the most influential event in my life so far. I’m both happy and proud to be a part of the Israeli youth R.P program, because it is done by us, teenagers is impartial and apart from politics..
Coming home was accompanied by the other part of the project which was hosting our American mates in our homes, showing them our country and by that reinforcing the information given to them while we were their guests.
I must confess as much as I enjoyed my tour I missed Israel a lot because it is my home, It doesn’t matter how much fun we had, and how powerful the experience was – it is always good to be home.