// SPECIAL FOR THE AJT //
For Adi Genosar, it took getting out of her routine to realize she was stuck in one at all – and she’s glad she did it.
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Taking a gap year with Young Judaea Year Course between high school and college led Adi to understand who she really is and what she’s truly passionate about.
Throughout high school, Adi assumed that she would pursue a degree in business. “I thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life,” she says. “I’m good at time management, and wanted to be a wedding planner. I thought I would study business when I got to college. I figured, ‘I’m decent at this, why not make it a career?’”
Before embarking on her chosen career path however, Adi wanted to spend a year between high school and college near her family in Israel and she wanted to do it while earning credit toward her college degree.
Young Judaea- Year Course, which has components all over Israel and would provide her with a range of new and exciting experiences as she earned up to 30 credits, seemed to be the best choice.
Little did Adi know that her year on Young Judaea Year Course would be more than just a year in Israel. It was a year that would change the rest of her life.
Adi’s world began to change almost as soon as she got off the plane. Soon thereafter, she began volunteering at Fat Meir’s Soup Kitchen in Bat Yam, outside of Tel Aviv. Spending her mornings making lunches for children who couldn’t afford lunch, she would then return to the soup kitchen to help prepare a hot dinner for those in need.
“I had never before been exposed to that kind of generosity,” she explains. It was a new way of interacting with the world around her, providing value and making an impact on those in need, in a way she had never even thought of previously.
While the soup kitchen opened Adi’s eyes to the effects of the power of togetherness to make change, it was in her next position on Year Course that she found her true calling. Encouraged by a madricha (counselor) on the trip, Adi began to volunteer with the Magen David Adom (Israeli Red Cross).
“I was so scared at the beginning,” Adi recalls, laughing, “but by the end of training I couldn’t imagine not being a paramedic.”
Ten days of intensive training followed by eight to 12 hour shifts, and Adi realized that this was what she truly wanted to do with her life.
“I found my passion,” she reflected. “It was the first time in my life I could say I really did everything in my power to help.”
Since returning from Year Course, Adi – now in her sophomore year at Georgia State University – is studying in a pre-nursing program. She credits her experience on Year Course as the reason for the shift from business to her current studies.
“On Year Course, I learned what it meant to be committed, and how much of an impact I could make as an individual. I earned a full year’s worth of credit while also being able to actually explore and find what I love to do.”
Editor’s note: For more information about Adi’s experience and to learn more about Young Judaea Year Course, you can visit www.youngjudaea.org/yearcourse or contact the Young Judaea Southeast Shaliach (emissary): Neta Shani, firstname.lastname@example.org | (917) 831-0850