My name is Chaim and I am 14. This is my first year in Ben Yakir.
I heard about this place from my cousin. I arrived a few months after the year began, but I have already known some friends from the neighborhood that go to school here, and it helped me adapt. My cousin introduced me to his friends as well.
The first night was hard. I didn't sleep all night. The bed was different than the one that I am used to. It made me happy, to have a closet of my own. I thought about the fact that my brothers are probably concerned and want to know if the new place is good for me, and if I am getting along.
The first Shabbat at the village was different in every aspect from Shabbat at home. I did not know anything, what I am supposed to do, what the schedule looks like. Today, after a year, I feel that I know everything and can teach others.
My group, Rimon group, was a strong and competitive group. We were very good in keeping our rooms clean; we won the village costume competition, and many activities. My group has smart kids, with a healthy sense of humor. It was very important to us to succeed in activities, to be the best group. My room was chosen twice this year to be excellent room in the field of tidiness.
In our village, a group is not just a phrase – a group is a group – we take care of each other, help each other out. Friendships in Ben Yakir are much stronger than any usual friendship – we spend the whole day together and know each other up close.
An activity I remember especially is ice cream night that our staff had for us. We had ice cream eating competitions and many more fun activities.
This year I was involved in many activities – computers, capoeira, ceramics, horseback riding, bicycle, drums, and carpentry