Each kvutza (living group) in Hakfar Hayarok has the indulgence of “hosting” the Shabbat festivities for the other members of the Kfar. This means that they sing several songs before the Shabbat dinner, and then afterwards, at around 9:30, perform a show. EMIS had this opportunity on May 15; the second to last Shabbat before the end of the year.

This was EMIS’s first chance to showcase their talent in front of the whole village. As it is the first year of our school, a lot of the reputation was at stake. We also had to overcome a few obstacles, such as the fact that our primary language of instruction is English, whereas in the Kfar it is Hebrew. We had to think about how to maintain the interest of the audience by enabling them to understand, while also showcasing our special talents. Despite these hindrances, our group was able to successfully create a cohesive and entertaining show in just TWO DAYS!!

The Glee club performed Colors of the Wind, Some Nights, and the timeless rendition of Lecha Dodi (Shabbat Shalom) before the meal. Some Israeli students read short stories in Hebrew for the audience. This was a theme of the night: to highlight our ‘internationalness’ and diversity while also remaining true to the Israeli people who study in the Kfar. Afterwards, many EMIS students went up to congratulate those who had performed. It was one of those moments where I realized how cohesive and amazing this community is. Despite the fact that our backgrounds are so diverse, when it comes to representing our school in front of an external group, we put our egos aside and show our support for our fellow classmates; friends; family.

I had the amazing opportunity of participating in Tochnit Eser, the evening show. My friend Nitzan and I, both Americans, wanted to represent America. We decided to play a classic song, “American Pie.” The director of the show had a “vision” that would be an intercultural skit including singing, dancing, and speaking. This turned into “the vision project.” Our act went like so: Nitzan and I were Americans, Mantas was the Lithuanian, and Yasmim as the Brazilian all met up at a music festival. We could not understand each other as we all spoke different languages. Nevertheless, we were able to have wonderful fun and achieve understanding through music. It was truly amazing performing and representing my home country in front of so many people. Although before coming to EMIS I would never in a million years agree to sing, let alone play guitar AND dance in front of an audience, I am so glad I took the opportunity, like many I have been given here, to go out of my comfort zone.

It is a little hard to come to touch with the fact that in one month our first year at EMIS will come to a close. It is moments such as these that I will share with those at home during the summer. Moments like these where I truly feel like I grew as a person and was able to experience something that I would never have had the chance to do if I did not embark on this study abroad journey.

Written by Hannah Cook

Edited by Tom Sagiv

Copy edited by Emily Perotti

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