What have past Shnatties said?
“Honestly? I could make an endless list telling you what Shnat involves, but without sounding clichéd, you have to do it to understand what it really is. Whilst here I’ve travelled Israel, learning about its history, culture, and potential for the future, I’ve found a deeper connection with Habonim and developed valuable leadership skills. I’ve built unbreakable bonds with worldwide Habonim members, from America, Canada and Australia to South Africa and Aotearoa New Zealand. I’ve been granted a second family through living in a kvutzah. I’ve challenged myself and grown as a person. You really want to know what Shnat is? Try it for yourself!”
What is Shnat?
Shnat is our 8 month gap year program in Israel for those who have just finished year 13. Shnat runs from September to April and has three main components. Shorashim – 3 months of living on a Kibbutz focussing on group bonding, Ulpan, informal education on Judaism and Zionism as well as visiting cities all around Israel. South Africa – 1 whole month on a beautiful Machaneh on a beach in South Africa as Madrichimot. Anafim – 4 months living in an Israeli city volunteering, running Kennim, teaching English in schools and running after school clubs. This period also includes a trip with March of the Living to Poland where the Shnatties learn about the Holocaust from a youth movement perspective and deepen their understanding of their Jewish identity. For more details on the content of Shnat, please read our brochure.
A unique aspect of the Habonim Dror Shnat program is the emphasis placed on the group experience. The participants live in a group, or Kvutzah, with whom they share their day-to-day living with as well as many personal experiences. It is through this Kvutzah that individuals are urged to take responsibility for both themselves and others. Each Kvutzah discusses values and tools to help them live and work together and create their own culture and norms, allowing their individual and collective creativity and identity to be expressed. The Shnat Madrichimot run weekly peulot to enable a healthy group dynamic for the Kvutza and are an integral part of making sure that each member of the programme feels happy within the group. This intense group experience allows participants to create meaningful and close relationships with each other, lasting for many years to come.
Shnat is an unparalleled opportunity to understand, explore and experience both Israel and Socialist-Zionism. Spending 8 months in Israel allows chanichimot to immerse themselves, over the course of the program, in Israeli culture and society.
Shnat is an incredible social experience: living with a group of close friends in Israel, meeting and bonding with fellow Habo shnatties from across the world, engaging with Israelis and the country itself and learning Hebrew in a fun and relaxed environment. It is filled with opportunities to make tons of friends, create incredible memories and experience life in a whole new and exciting way whilst being fully supported by madrichimot and kvutza.