In dvarisrael, israelengagement, stories

What’s Family Day Like Without The Family?

By Gil Peled.

We hope you all enjoyed a relaxing Family Day weekend, we know we did. Usually, Family Day is dedicated to the family, obviously, but what do you do when your family is in a different country and you’re away from home?

As some of you probably know, we are being hosted during the year by different families from Holy Blossom and Leobaeck. Those are our “host families”, which we switch every 3 months.

It is definitely a very strange arrangement, but a great one too.

This means that every three months we get to:

  • Pack and move all of our stuff
  • Find out how useful a duffle bag is
  • Adapt to a different diet
  • Develop a new sense of humor to fit in with the family
  • Get to know a different neighborhood
  • Find out the new location of your friends (who also move to a different family)
  • Fill in your actual family about the new family
  • Meet the extended family, and try to catch up on the family gossip
  • And we get excited about meeting the new family,
  • While still missing the last one

When we first heard we were coming to Toronto and that we’re going to stay with host families we didn’t know what to expect and we didn’t know how close it would feel to a real family. Today we are facing yet another move (in only 3 weeks), which gives us a new beginning for the 3rd time this year, even though we’re already past the middle of the year. Also, it means we have to leave home again, for the 2nd time this year.

We can only imagine how hard it is to decide to open your house to a stranger, and to let them into your family but only for a temporary period of time. It’s like taking in another child. What we go through with the families is very personal, and yet it’s also a part of a big program that involves 72 families every year. We have to admit, it’s quite an achievement – finding so many families that are willing to host 18-year-old Israelis.

So today we would like to dedicate Family Day to our host families, and everybody else who has hosted before and has been involved in this amazing experience we go through with the families.

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