Sari Rosenberg, 18, of South Orange, and Ellie Mischel, 19, of Maplewood both decided that instead of a college campus, Israel was the place to be this year. The teens, who attended religious school and Hebrew High School and were active in youth group at Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in South Orange are in the Young Judaea Gap Year program. They are living and learning in Israel, and connecting experientially to Judaism and Israeli culture.
Sari, who will attend the University of Michigan next year, always planned on a gap year in Israel, ever since she’d enjoyed a study abroad program there in 10th grade. She is in the Machon Leadership Institute based in Kiryat Moriah in Jerusalem, and will shift her home base to Tel Aviv next semester. Ellie deferred her admission at University of Delaware, where she plans to study sociology, after the university responded to the pandemic by closing the campus and moving all classes online. She started her Israel year in Tel Aviv and will switch to Jerusalem and the Machon Leadership Institute midyear.
Both young women graduated from Columbia High School; in Israel, they are touring, taking classes, volunteering, and gaining leadership skills, while sharing this immersive experience with other students from around the world. The program will continue until May.
For more information, go to tsti.org.