Spending quality time in Israel on BBYO Beyond gap year programs gives participants the chance to experience their Judaism according to their own beliefs.
BBYO Beyond provides post high school graduates with the opportunity to explore and define their Jewish Identities. Teenagers struggle with who they want to be and how they are perceived by society. Upon graduating high school, and leaving their parents' homes, these young adults need to start taking responsibility for the decisions they make, and in order to do so, they need to start formulating what their own convictions are.
One aspect that is challenged is how they would like to incorporate Judaism into their life. Spending quality time in Israel on BBYO Beyond gives participants the chance to experience their Judaism according to their own beliefs. They can choose whether to do so culturally, spiritually, and religiously.
Interspersed throughout the Beyond year are tours, seminars and social activities that provide participants with the tools to create and help shape their Jewish identity. To start off the year Beyond participants head up north to the mystical city of Tsfat for a seminar with Livnot U'Lhibanot. This experience affords the teens the opportunity to study text and learn the basis for Tikun Olam - repairing the world. Later on in the year, a Freedom Seminar in the dessert allows the participants to walk in the footsteps of their forefathers and connect spiritually with the beauty of the dessert.
Furthermore, spending a gap year in Israel on Beyond allows participants to experience the Jewish holidays while living in a Jewish state. Teens will be encouraged to share their own family traditions with their new friends, to incorporate local traditions they learned from their neighbors and to be courageous enough to start their own traditions, if they so chose. Throughout the year participants will be faced with questions that will help them in strengthening their Jewish Identity. How will they decide to observe Shabbat? Does celebrating Sukkot mean going to synagogue or attending a music festival in the dessert? Should they keep a kosher apartment? There are no right answers to these questions and luckily they will not be facing these challenges alone. Beyond staff are always available to serve as a sounding board, in addition to the warm community of other Beyond participants.
For more information on 2013-2014 Beyond gap year programs please visit http://beyondyear.org/