Make the Most of Everything

by Josh Kerr | Oct 15, 2020

Amid pandemic, scholarship winner adjusts to life in Israel

Ariel Glikman’s plan was simple; he’d travel to Israel to do a semester at Hebrew University and then stay there for the following summer, attempting to enrich his Israeli experience with volunteer opportunities. So far, in 2020, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, simple plans have been forced to change. Despite the global landscape changing, Glikman was able to see his plans slightly modified, but still intact. 

The recipient of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba’s 2019 Joel A. Weinstein Memorial Scholarship, Glikman has seen his first year in Israel unfold differently than most of those who have taken the path before him. The first modified plan came with school, seeing all classes take place on Zoom. While this may seem daunting and unfamiliar, Glikman found it to be a rewarding experience in itself.
“It only made the bond I had with my roommates stronger,” Glikman says. “It gave us more time to endlessly discuss meaningful topics; everything from Jewish identity, to our roles as young Jewish leaders in North America, to why the Winnipeg Jets are the best team in professional hockey.”

In July, Glikman, a Gray Academy graduate, saw the next modification to his plan come to be, as he became a First Aid Responder with Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency pre-hospital medical organization. The shortage of personnel due to the pandemic helped thrust him into action earlier than expected. Within his first two weeks on the job, he was already in awe of the experiences he’d had, including speaking exclusively Hebrew in stressful, high-pressure situations like being in an ambulance with only the driver and the patient. 

“Though at times I feel unprepared and a little bit scared to fail, I remember the most important lesson I’ve learned throughout my half-year in Israel,” says Glikman. “Make the most of everything.”

The Joel A. Weinstein Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a full-time student studying in Israel. The scholarship is awarded based on academic achievement, financial need and community involvement both locally and in Israel. 

Glikman’s ability to adapt to and thrive in this new normal, while still committing himself to his new community and the modified educational path, is impressive and inspiring. It’s not however, surprising, coming from someone who makes an effort to make the most of everything.