The Tivnu Gap Year Program

Mar. 02, 2014

Source: Tivnu Gap Year Program


The Tivnu Gap Year Program is a 9-month residential experience for high school graduates, ages 17-20, from across North America and beyond. Participants work, study, and live together in Portland, Oregon, building homes, creating community, and exploring the connections between Judaism and social justice. We believe that it is important for Jews to engage in social justice work not just as individuals, but as representatives of the Jewish community in partnership with other communities. We act from the conviction that housing is a human right and a cornerstone of a life of stability, dignity, and opportunity.


What Will I Do on Tivnu Gap Year?

Build: You will spend four days a week learning and applying construction skills under the guidance of experienced construction trainers. We build new homes and make major repairs to existing structures in partnership with affordable-housing non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. You will learn how to safely and competently use hand and power tools (including miter saw, reciprocating saw, jig saw, and router); read blueprints; set up, efficiently organize, and break down a worksite; and implement sustainable building techniques.


Learn: We spend approximately one day a week studying the complex issues surrounding housing, poverty, and questions of communal obligation and fairness from both general and Jewish perspectives. With Tivnu educators and guest speakers, we explore both classical and modern Jewish sources on social justice, learn about the current context and background of today’s issues, and grapple with how to build a pluralistic Jewish community that responds to the pressing social issues of our time.


Engage and Lead: We conduct site visits to local non-profits, gaining insight into ongoing efforts to address homelessness, poverty, and income disparity in Oregon and nationwide.


Explore: We live together in Portland, preparing communal meals, celebrating Shabbat and other Jewish holidays, and forging life-long friendships. We also do plenty of recreational activities.


Read more about Tivnu Gap Year and register here.

Updated: Jan. 29, 2014