This coming year I will be spending over ten months in Israel. The primary reason I will be in Israel is because I am Jewish. I have struggled with my Jewish identity in the past, so this could be an amazing opportunity for me to reconnect to my religion. I am making it a goal to come home slightly more spiritual than I left. For me I’d like to reignite my passion for the Sabbath. I’d like my Sabbath experience over the next year to be more observant, so I can create positive memories of observing Sabbath and come home with a desire to observe the Sabbath at FSU, at home, in general.
My number one goal will be to avoid electronics on the Sabbath, so to me that seems easy enough. Though I might not be consistent with it over the next year if I can show myself that there is benefit to it and I do enjoy my day without a phone I feel like I can come home wanting to keep the Sabbath, wanting to associate with the religious side of Judaism, wanting to possibly take it another step further in the future.
Another goal I have for my gap year is to expand my social bubble. I have been at a small orthodox Jewish school for the last 13 years of my life, all of my friends are Jewish, all of my friends are from The eastern time zone. I’d like to make friends from around the globe and I think that I have that opportunity over the next year. I’ll be living in a “apartment complex“ full of people from around the world and since I am a social person I think that it’ll be easy enough for me to just get out of my comfort zone and make even more friends that I have now and hopefully I leave the trip with friends from Israel, Europe, California, etc.
Accomplishing this goal will sound simple though might be tough. In the past I’ve never had problems socializing so I’ve always been with people uncomfortable around to extend. Like when people join my grade I’m still surrounded with others I am comfortable with so socializing with them and making that one or two new friends it’s easy. So this coming year I just need to remember to be myself, put myself in situations where I’m going to meet people and have fun.
My final goal/objective for the next year please into my desire to go to a soccer game. I have lots of friends/my girlfriend’s family love soccer. Soccer is also one of the most popular sports in the world, right up there with tennis. So I’d like to expand my knowledge of sports beyond American sports. Soccer is massive in Israel, I even have a distant family member that works for the Tel Aviv club. So for me that’s going to mean going to games, remembering players names, adding apps on my phone to get updates to know the standings. While it does seem like a lot of extra knowledge my brain loves sports so I feel the score should also be on the easier side. I just need to be dedicated like I was for baseball, football, and basketball.