Maverick Report: Meadowdale High’s Shippen planning ‘gap year’ in Israel

Danny Shippen

Editor’s note: My Edmonds News is featuring stories from Meadowdale High School journalism students.

By Anya Nikolic
Meadowdale High School

Can you imagine leaving behind everything that you’re so used to, to move to a foreign country? That’s what senior Danny Shippen has planned for life after high school. While most of his classmates will be going to universities or community colleges, Shippen will be in Israel for nine months on a gap year.

“I’ve been going to summer camp [called Camp Miriam] to work with an organization called Habonim Dror,” said the senior. “Habonim Dror” translated into English means the “builders of freedom,” a youth movement whose mission is to build a personal bond and commitment between North American Jewish youth and the state of Israel, he explained.

At Camp Miriam, campers learn about Jewish history and current social issues, and gain knowledge about Israel itself. “In Israel I’ll be living communally with a bunch of other kids my age just out of high school,” Shippen said. “I’ll get to experience living in a kibbutz [town] for the first half of the trip, and then during the second half I’ll be living in either Akko or Karmiel [cities in Israel].”

During his stay, Shippen will travel throughout Israel, work with youth, learn Hebrew and volunteer. In the nine months he will be there, he will also go on a 10-day trip to Poland and will also attend various seminars, during which he will learn about various issues in Israel.


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