Hadassah National President Marcie Natan &
Barbara Goldstein Among The Participants At
Year Course Opening Ceremony
For the 63rd year, Young Judaea Year Course opened with the powerful message, “Year Course is not a Year Off, it’s a Year ON!” 260 Young Judaeans, FZYniks, Israeli Scouts, and many enthusiastic staff gathered on the grass at Bet Ar-El, their Jerusalem campus and welcomed the new year with the sound of shofar blasts, song, dance and heartfelt speeches. Among the guests were Marcie Natan, National Hadassah President, other distinguished guests from Hadassah, MASA, and other friends of Year Course.
Georgina Sherman from Leeds and Jacob Gilbert from Boston wrote and performed an original song about their pride in being in Israel this year. Three chanichim spoke and shared their goals for the year, including Talia Niederman from North Bergen, New Jersey, who shared, “Howard Thurman once said, ‘Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.’ I challenge us to find what issues in Israel make us come alive. I challenge us to each find a problem we can’t bear to live with and put our whole selves into fixing it. This will indeed make us come alive and what’s more, it will give new life to this country we love so dearly. Leivnot ve’lehivanot- to build and be built. It starts now.”
A highlight of the evening was a visit from Ale Klatchko, a Year Course alumnus from 2009-2010 , who came in her IDF uniform and shared her words of inspiration. “Year Course is what you make of it. So whether your Year Course lasts nine months or the rest of your life, I urge you to get out and explore the land, take lots of pictures, keep a journal, speak Hebrew every chance you get, and truly cherish the friendships you make with fellow Year Coursers, madrichim, Tzofim (Scouts) or random Israelis, because nine months from now it will feel like these are the only people who truly know you. Allow yourselves to grow and evolve because it’s inevitable on this program, and I promise that you will love the person you become.
The evening ended with Hatikvah and the chanichim headed off to the Kotel to begin their Year Course, and lifelong journey.