Midreshet Torah v’Avodah is an institution based program that ensures participants leave Israel with a suitcase full of Torah and knowledge. The institutions on the MTA programs provide the participants with incredible teachers and classes throughout the year. For 2021, the yeshivot for the boys are Yeshivat Har Etzion (Gush) and Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi and the midrashot for the girls are Machon Ma’ayan and Midreshet Harova.
All of the institutions offer something different but share a commitment to facilitating and encouraging the growth of it’s participants. Aside from the learning aspect of the program, participants are exposed to many chessed (volunteering) opportunities as well as being involved in various seminars about Israel, Bnei Akiva and Jewish communal leadership.
There is so much more than just learning under the MTA structure. Participants are exposed to many volunteering opportunities, seminars on a variety of topics, time on Kibbutz in the Galil, tiyulim throughout Israel and a meaningful roots trip to Poland. Also, MTA takes care of you during chofesh (break), with exciting tiyulim around the country.
After an intense 10 days of exploring the depths of our history in Poland, we arrive at kibbutz Ein HaNatziv. We’re greeted by Elchi, one of the locals of the kibbutz, who explains to us how it all works around here. A kibbutz is all about community and shared responsibility. Every person plays an essential part of contributing to the maintenance of the kibbutz, land and livestock within it in. And, for the next little while, we have the opportunity to experience a small taste of life on a kibbutz by working, helping the community and earning our keep. All together, we settled into our cabin and took time settle in. We went to the cheder ochel and it was amazing to see half the community eating in one place and even more so we were able to be a part of it. During our free time, we were able to go to the local pool and beautiful Mayan as the heat was scorching hot. Later that evening, we attended a kibbutz wedding between two people who live on the kibbutz. It was amazing to see the community come together to celebrate and you could feel the simcha around you and I couldn’t help but smile.
Months in the Yeshivah routine can be tiring. The time had come for us to get a break and give our minds time to breathe. But I don’t think this break ever gave us time to rest.
Travelling to Poland was a reminder of the sometimes harsh reality of being a member of our people. We experienced both the rich lives we led, and felt the burden of our great loss.
As we arrived, we were swept with a sensation of arriving somewhere where we had no place. The spoken language was foreign. The people, whilst sometimes kind, were to all of us complete strangers.
Our sleep routine was ruthless, scratching around 5 hours of sleep many nights to fit a packed day.