Although this year's student delegation to Australia from Shittim School in the Arava is the 14th consecutive student delegation, things are going to be very different this year. In response to needs expressed by our Australian partners, delegation members are going through the most rigorous preparation process ever, so that in addition to representing both Israel in general and the Arava in particular as in previous years, the young people are learning both how to perform and how to teach Israeli songs and dances, as well as how to put on skits and run social activities for Australian youngsters.
For the first time the delegation will be accompanied by two adults: Orit Wein, a teacher at Shittim School, and Dikla Manur, who completed her IDF service last year, and was herself a member of the Arava student delegation to Australia in 2006.
The schedule for Orit, Dikla and the 13 delegation members has been hectic, as they participated in various workshops and other learning experiences here in the Arava and in other parts of the county. The Arava Leadership Academy has also taken part in preparing the students for their trip, giving them lessons in current events and teaching them how to run a Kabbalat Shabbat.
The students have already met some of their fellow students from Melbourne and Sydney who visited the Arava as part of the BJE and Bialik/King David delegations this past November and December, and there is much anticipation on both sides.
The delegation is leaving Israel to begin their journey on August 2, and we wish them a successful trip and enjoyable experience for Israelis and Australian alike: B'HATZLAHA!