Etgar – אתגר

During Etgar–which means challenge–you’ll spend four days challenging yourself, pushing yourself to greater strengths, and confronting what you thought were your limits.

Over the past several years, Etgar has become a highlight of the Seminar program. Etgar offers an incredible opportunity to spend more time exploring one aspect of Israel over a four-day period.

All Etgar options take place during the same week and will be open to Seminarniks from all kvutzot. Registration for the options will not be based on your assigned kvutza (bus group) or camp of origin.

Please note that some programs may be modified or even dropped, depending on specific considerations such as registration, cost, security, safety, and weather. In addition, Ramah reserves the right to determine if any individual is appropriate to a particular option.

Etgar options include a wide variety of exciting activities designed to satisfy different interests, tastes, and energy levels. The programs will be coordinated with outside professionals who specialize in the particular areas that our Etgar options cover. Ramah Seminar staff will continue to be your madrichim during the week of Etgar, and the options offered will accord with Ramah’s stringent safety and security considerations.

Options Include:

“The amount of hiking we did was incredible. Our guide chose some of the most beautiful sights to hike through. It was such a great feeling to get to the top of a mountain – Wow.”

Experience the desert! Desert Survival is a physical and mental challenge as you spend an extended period of time in the open territory of the (extremely hot) desert. This is for serious hikers only–those of you who are willing to rough it, sleeping under the stars, carrying most of your gear on your backs and cooking many of your own meals. As you encounter the powerful and stark beauty of the desert first-hand you will learn about yourself, about your friends and about the landscape you are walking in.

“ I learned life skills. Time management and discipline. A respect for the people of Israel and especially the ones who serve in the army. And a concern for the future of Israel and who will keep it safe in the coming years. And amazing new friends. It was so good that I only knew one person in my platoon – I really made new friends.”

Imagine you and your friends in uniform on a real army base, experiencing a (simulated) week in the life of an Israeli soldier. In GADNA, an IDF para-military program, you’ll get a taste of the most important experience of every Israeli teenager. Led by real Israeli soldiers, you will navigate with a map and compass, shoot a gun, sense the discipline and routine of army life, and also will learn about the ethics and values which are so important to the Israel Defense Force.

The Israeli performing arts Etgar will allow you to explore Israeli society in general and Jerusalem in particular through the window of performing arts. If you have a flare for drama or love singing your heat our and dacing the night away, this is the right Etgar for you! The program will combine exploration of the arts in Israel and creating your own personal expression through the arts. Based in Jerusalem at the Chava, you will be involved in performing arts each morning, and explore diverse facets of Jerusalem in the afternoon and evening. This Etgar includes field trips and activities that are not part of the regular Seminar program in Jerusalem and unique to the Etgar options in Jerusalem.

The Israeli sport Etgar will allow you to explore Israeli society in general and Jerusalem in particular through the window of sports. The program will combine exploration of the world of sports in Israel and participation in local sports activities. Based in Jerusalem at the Chava, you will be involved in sports each morning, and explore diverse facets of Jerusalem in the afternoon and evening. This Etgar includes field trips and activities that are not part of the regular Seminar program in Jerusalem and unique to the Etgar options in Jerusalem.

“My volunteer placement working with the special needs in Jerusalem was a life-changing experience. When I returned home I decided to continue volunteering with similar children and it is a really meaningful and fulfilling aspect of my life. I want to return to Israel and volunteer for a longer time. The educational program in Jerusalem was a great way to get to know the city in a deeper way.”

Jerusalem as Inspiration will allow you to connect to Jerusalem on many levels. The program is interactive and intellectual, rather than a physical challenge. Based in Jerusalem at the Chava, you will have the chance to volunteer, performing community service each morning, and then explore diverse facets of Jerusalem in the afternoon and evening. This Etgar includes field trips and activities that are not part of the regular Seminar program in Jerusalem.

“Sea to Sea made me appreciate the land of Israel so much more, plus I met and got much closer with other Ramahniks not from my camp and kvutza.”

With a pack on your back and good walking shoes, you will literally walk all the way across the north of Israel, from the Kinneret to the Mediterranean Sea in challenging trek. (Some sections may require transport by bus.) You don’t have to be an experienced hiker, but be prepared for an Etgar that is physically demanding. This option involves camping out in the shetah (the “field”) and sleeping under the stars. There will also be a challenging and exciting bike section of the hike! This hike will offer you the opportunity to explore the beautiful natural phenomena and significant historical sites existing in the Galilee. You may also gain the unique insight into why the tiyul (hike) is such an important part of Israeli life and identity.

Start Up Nation will allow you to explore Israeli society in general and Jerusalem in particular through the window of cutting edge science and technology. Do you dream of entering the fields of science and technology in your professional life? Do you want to build your resume and impressed colleges with your previous exposure to international science? Start Up Nation may be the right Etgar for you! The program will combine exploration of science and innovations in Israel while encountering Israeli who are changing the world with their ideas. Based in Jerusalem at the Chava, you will be explore science each morning, and explore diverse facets of Jerusalem in the afternoon and evening. This Etgar includes field trips and activities that are not part of the regular Seminar program in Jerusalem and unique to the Etgar options in Jerusalem.