Meet Rachel Siboni from Kav HaZinuk

We caught up with Rachel Siboni, participating in the 2020 Kav Hazinuk course in Western Galilee for a quick chat about the program.

Hey, Rachel, a bit about yourself?

Racheli Siboni, aged 22, living in Carmiel, but actually I spend most of my time in the central area, in Holon.  I’m a student, final year of the military track for certified nurses at Tel Aviv University.

How did Kav Hazinuk influence you?

I frequently get asked this question.  In fact, it’s very challenging to answer each time, because I remember myself as being critical, the kind who never compromises and of course someone who makes an effort never to take things for granted.  That’s reinforced in light of the fact that Kav Hazinuk came into my life at the peak of shaping my authentic self.  And since then, and because I joined at the peak of growth, of shaping and consolidating my identity and self, there’s no way to separate between the “before” and “after” periods as far as Kav Hazinuk’s impact on me personally.  On second thought, the question makes me internalize the idea that if I can’t put my finger on its impact and say, “Well, it impacts me in this or that way…” then I suppose it’s already become an essential part of my being.

You have an interesting perspective on social activism and your chosen profession.  Can you expand?

In addition to ongoing studies, which are social activism in their own right, I believe that you need to be someone who wants to give to society.  By choosing to learn a health profession, I find I’m setting myself new challenges every year as far as being a students’ mentor in the Unit for Promotion of Students, and additionally, as mentor in the university’s “Amadeus” framework which works to accessibilize higher education to students from the Ethiopian sector.

What is “Pioneer Futurists” and how are you connected?

The residential project called “Pioneer Futurists” is a unique social venture which offers shared living in a building totally devoted to futurists, at fair rent and attractive conditions, alongside meaningful social activism to strengthen the Shapira neighborhood in Tel Aviv Yaffo.

The project didn’t begin operations as initially planned.  It just vegged without Beit Shapira moving forward on it, so I decided that this was the time to find it a new home, with the backing of the Futurists group headed by an amazing guy named Xavier.  I was fortunate to structure a sub-framework within the framework of my studies in order to cooperate with the building’s residents.  Very slowly I began shaping a nucleus within my study framework, together we built up the project, starting from content to schedules to the pilot, and right now as we speak, to the stage of action.

We now have two houses, two youth homes.  The project conveys content on issues of lifestyle, nutrition, sport, hygiene, and correct exercise (both physical and mental).  Activities are conducted for participants in the youth home.  Most of the youth are from immigrant parents or from very disadvantaged neighborhoods which either don’t receive such content or don’t seek out how to apply them in other frameworks that do present this content but from a top-down approach.  In the future we’ll begin working in an additional framework for mental coping.

Name a figure who has influenced you the most?

The Rambam (Rabbi Moses Maimonides), because the integration of activities that interested him shows me again and again that it’s possible for me to be who I want to be without getting into internal contradictions, even in our current world.

A message to the program’s participants before you go?

Find interest in every single thing, even if it seems really strange to you.  If you do that, it’s highly probable (and definitely sufficient) that one of them will fire you up.  Don’t let that fire burn up your interests, but bravely do something about it.  Find the enjoyment in change.

About Alon Madar