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My Experience of Shnat 2020 - HaBonim Dror Olami

Shnat 2020 has a good ring to it and it sure was a year I will never forget. In February 2020, a wonderful eager group of shnatties arrived from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The year started off like any other Shnat programme before, with much excitement and many to do from past shnatties.

The shnatties started off on Kibbutz Yizrael for a good month of orientation and settling into their new environment. After this month, they moved to Machon. About a week or so into Machon Covid – 19 hit Israel. The Shnatties were to face their first challenge of Shnat 2020, not an expected challenge. During this first lockdown in Israel, the shnatties showed nothing but resilience. Even with all the unknown at the time, the shnatties didn’t want to leave, they came to Israel to be on Habonim Dror Olami Shnat Hachshara, and they were staying in Israel on Habonim Dror Olami’s Shnat Hachshara programme.

It was an incredibly inspiring time for me, seeing their strength and understanding of what was happening around them. Machon was a time of immense personal growth for the shnatties, and we the tzevet could see it so clearly. After Machon the shnatties moved to Kibbutz Ein HaShofet. The kibbutz welcomed the shnatties as members of the kibbutz. The shnatties embraced the full kibbutz experience and worked hard. Living out the dream of a Habonim Dror OlamiChaultz/ah. This kibbutz time was exciting. We were able to spend more time with the shnatties and engage in deeper conversations, whether about personal interests, current affairs and Habonim Dror Olami’s ideology.

After the time in the Kibbutz came our last segment, Kaveret. The shnatties had two beautiful apartments and not long into kaveret lockdown two started. This time we were all more prepared and knew what stood before us. More visits, more peulot and more time spent together. The last few weeks of Shnat were jam packed, time at the Ecological farm, Holocaust memorial Journey, Israeli Palestinian Conflict Seminar and of course Shnat Sikkum Seminar. As I look back on Shnat as one of the Rakazimot and Madrichimot, I can easily say that it was one of the best, most rewarding years I have had. Every challenge we faced, we were able to overcome with our amazing tzevet and incredible shnatties. Through it all we laughed a lot, learnt a lot and I can confidently say that it was a successful and brilliant year regardless of Covid – 19.

Lee Lobel

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