In order to preserve the notion (at least in my family’s eyes) that I am completely insane (really, it’s just something I want to do), I’m planning a year off after I graduate high school this June (pre-emptive response to the nearly certain reaction: Yes, I am going to go to college, just not right away.)
One of the things I want to do is go to Israel. I was supposed to go two years ago, but didn’t (due to the violence). First question: Am I completely insane? How safe/unsafe would it be for me (american female) to be there? Anyone who’s gone recently is begged to contribute.
I’ve found some websites (such as <url=http://www.geocities.com/chosit/faq.html>this</url>) about how you can volunteer on a kibbutz for a period of time (it seems to be upwards of 2 months, which is fine with me.) Again, anyone who’s done this, please talk to me. Again, how safe is it? Comfortable but spartan living conditions, or worse? Would people think I’m crazy for being an AMerican or something?
Also - how much Hebrew would it be recommended that I know? I discovered just yesterday that I can, in fact, drudge up a few memories of letters and vowels and such (last time I read Hebrew was my bat mitzvah 4 years ago). Can anyone recommend a way to go about learning the language on my own? If I were to head to a kibbutz this summer, would I be expected to be fluent? Basic conversation? Is English pretty well-spread throughout Israel?
Thanks to anyone who can answer any of these!