• Chava Teitelbaum

Meet Bashe Rockman!

People rave about the sights, smells, and tastes of the Middle East- but Bashe Rockman took it to the next level by spending a semester abroad in Israel! Here on her gap year, she is enjoying all that Thrive has to offer- from befriending bedouins to authentic shakshuka!


THRIVE: Hi Bashe, we’re so excited that you’re here! We can’t wait to get to know you over this semester. Let's get started with a really important question– what is your favorite Israeli food?


BR: You know, I could never decide what my favorite Israeli food was, but in the past year or so I realized how much I like shakshuka!


THRIVE: Sometimes, the decision of what to order on an Israeli menu can be really challenging- there are too many tempting options! But I agree, you can never go wrong with shakshuka! Now that we have the important life decisions out of the way, let’s talk about some easier decisions– like where you are going to college and what you will be studying there. Tell us some more about yourself, where you hail from, and your plans for next fall.


BR: I’m from Central Jersey, and I will be attending Muhlenberg College next fall. My intended major is Jewish studies and I’ll be on an elementary special education track.


THRIVE: The world needs more good teachers, especially those that can appreciate students with learning differences. So what brings you to Israel, and specifically Thrive?


BR: I’m here on my Gap year. It was important for me to come to Israel to expand my understanding of Israel and Judaism.


THRIVE: Well, you definitely came to the right place for that. What are you most excited about coming on Thrive?


BR: I want to expand my understanding, and I want to grow my personal connection to the land and figure out my place on my Jewish Journey.


THRIVE: Wow, that’s a really genuine answer. We’re all seeking meaning in our individual lives, and Thrive helps you expand that understanding and your personal connection to both Israel and Judaism. One thing that Thrive does really well is tailor our programming to meet the personal goals of our students. If a student has a particular interest they want to pursue while they’re here, we try our best to enable them to do it. Which brings me to my next question: can you tell us about your personal interests and perhaps an experience you’d like to take back home with you?


BR: Well, I’m really into anything artistic/creative that I can figure out how to do well (i.e., fashion, makeup, singing, painting). Lately, I’ve been wanting to send home different smells so I’d love to have the technology to do that!


THRIVE: You gave my words a whole new meaning– literally an experience to ‘take back home with you’. What a cool idea! I’m sure your family and friends back home would love to get a taste (or whiff) of your experiences here- especially that shakshuka!


As the semester settles in, get ready for jam-packed programming– I think you’ll especially like meeting artisans in Jerusalem’s Old City and delving into the art and culture here. Above all, we want to give you the opportunity for meaningful and rewarding experiences, and a connection that will last you a lifetime– things you just can’t get by studying abroad anywhere else.


To meet more students like Bashe, and hear about their real experiences studying abroad in Israel, check out our ______







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