Te’ena is a religious Jewish girl from a town in the West Bank. For many GHIS students, even Israeli Jews, it was a first opportunity to become friends with a religious settler. By being so open, she allowed people to connect with her and learn from her. She says that at GHIS “being a friend came before your identity.” She illustrates her point by saying, “you could start the day having an argument with a friend, then sit with them at lunch and laugh together. Suddenly, the political issues, and your differences in background and opinion don’t matter, what matters is that your friends.”
Currently: Te’ena is in Madrid having been selected to the prestigious national service year with the Jewish Agency, working in a Jewish school teaching Hebrew and about Israel, and creating fun activities for people of all ages in the community.
Looking ahead: After her year in Madrid, she will join the IDF, where she hopes to work in intelligence and study for her Bachelor’s degree. Her hopes that her interest in political science, international relations, and psychology will surely help to lead her into a career as an ambassador or representative of a government entity.
Always driven: Before coming to GHIS in 11th grade, Te’ena was an actress, dancer, and taekwondo competitor. But she put those aside to attend GHIS, because she was looking for an academic challenge–a decision that she does not regret. At GHIS, she says, “in every class I learned something new– my brain was in constant use and engaged. And I got to run the taekwondo CAS at GHIS”
The GHIS impact: At GHIS, there weren’t many religious Jews like her, but she found that through that experience she was able to better understand herself. She says that it was an opportunity to “ask self questions that I never asked before and explore myself and what I believe in. This strengthened my identity, and made me grateful for where I come from and what I believe in.”
GHIS connections: Te’ena was pleased that at GHIS she learned that she gets along with people even if they’re really different from her. And this has given her the confidence to speak up and express herself and make connections with people easily.
GHIS friendships: She says that her friendships at GHIS were “unexpected and lovely.” She talks about her two international roommates and how in conversations with them and other students, you hear many opinions and learn about different cultures and customs, and have interesting conversations. They shared their lives, perspectives, and beliefs and each of them came out stronger because of that.
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