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My Family Hosted a Gap-year Student from Israel

Out of everything that has happened this past year, I never would have thought that I would gain a second brother, well sorta brother. In the summer, my family decided to host gap-year students from Israel who would stay with us for the whole year. He is part of a program in which he worked with different organizations around my community. At first, I was a bit skeptical, I mean who isn't scared of change, especially when things have changed so much in 2020. All I knew was that I would be living with a stranger, but sooner than later, he became a part of our family. 

Prior to knowing that I would be staying home for the fall semester, I wasn’t too sure how I would get to know him. Would I just be left out of an experience the rest of my family got to all share? I just thought that he would be taking my seat at the dinner table and kicking me out of my bathroom. But little did I know that I would be getting to know him as much as the rest of my family and that we would all soon be having joyful conversations at the dinner table. It was nice having a new person around to keep my family in shape. 

It was really cool to learn about another culture first hand, and also introduce him to things that we know. For example, we quickly learned that he is a great chef, and he cooked some delicious traditional Israeli/ Middle eastern dishes and desserts, including an amazing challah every Friday night for Shabbat. My family and I also enjoyed taking him (really getting take-out) to our favorite restaurants and parks, and we even took him to see Christmas light shows around town. 

Although our time with him is not over yet, I am very grateful that my parents were welcoming enough to host him. Even though my fall semester was nothing like I expected, I am very glad that I got to embrace this unique opportunity. Despite the fact that he and my brother would team up on me, which wasn’t always fun, the experience really did make my fall semester and being at home a lot more enjoyable. 

Anna Rutberg

Lafayette '24

Freshman at Lafayette
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