GHIS helped Odem, from a kibbutz in Israel, feel that “whatever I want to do, if I want it enough, and if I learn the path I need to walk on–I can achieve my dreams. It really opened the world to me.” For her, “GHIS was eye-opening in every way. It made me smarter and I learned to organize my priorities.” 

Currently: Odem is a journalist in the IDF (doing her compulsory military service). She doubts that she would have gotten such a good job without GHIS, where she went from being just an ok writer to a great writer who people want to read. 

Great conversations build character: Odem talks about the special atmosphere at GHIS that enabled intense conversations to happen on a daily basis. This atmosphere that encouraged open, questioning conversations was one of the best things about GHIS for her and many of her peers. 

Everyday she learned something new: about someone’s family history, about how their personal perspectives were shaped, about unknown aspects of different cultures, and the ways that people approach life and religion. Through those conversations and her studies, she realized that she was given the opportunity to choose who she wants to be and decide how she wants to live her life. By absorbing the things she learned, she feels that she can become her truest self.

Dreaming big: GHIS helped Odem dream big and not think of herself as just another 18-year-old girl from a small town (or kibbutz, in her case) in Israel. She knows that she can accomplish what she wants, as long as she works for it. And she is dreaming big! 

After she finishes her army duty and goes on a well-earned trip, she wants to study psychology at Cambridge University and eventually become Minister of Education in Israel! But before arriving at GHIS, Odem found school uninteresting and even numbing (which was why her parents searched for an alternative school for her). So her vision for what school and education can be, and her commitment to bringing that about, show what the right education can do for an unengaged teenager. 

The power of a GHIS education: Talking about her work now as a journalist, she says, “To be a journalist, you need to understand people and find them interesting.” She credits GHIS with giving her that perspective. She likens the experience of learning in this environment–with so many different people and hearing so many ideas at this important age–to children learning a new language when their minds are still growing. Attending GHIS helped her develop into the person she is–a person she is proud of–and so is GHIS!

David Zehavi

Hebrew Literature

David joined GHIS because he was looking for the right educational establishment to develop personally and professionally. As soon as he heard about GHIS, he realized that it suits his values.

“As someone who has always been committed to coexistence in Israel, I see GHIS as a great vehicle to bring young people together in an accepting and non-prejudicial way.”

As well as being a teacher, David is also trained in special needs education at all school levels.

David holds a joint Honors B.Ed.  in Special Education ages 6 to 21, and BA in Literature at Oranim College