My name is Arik, I’m 28 and I’m from Holon. I’m in my 4th year studying accounting and I also work part time. In 2015, two years after my military service, I decided I wanted to learn how the business world is run. I was very curious about this field and so, following a lot of consultations and career counseling, I decided to pursue a business degree with an accounting concentration. Currently my goal is to graduate and begin my training at a good accounting firm, later on advancing to financial management at large companies.
I began my connection with Lamerhav in 2011, during the second year of military service. Since my parents emigrated from Israel, I was a “Lone Soldier” in the IDF. At Lamerhav I had two counselors. One was with me for the first two years, and the other one was with me to the end of the program. My counselors knew how to help me find my way and give me confidence in facing every obstacle and crossroad I came across at key stages in my life. The weekly meetings with them were a place for me to vent, to seek advice, and to plan my next steps. They were there for me to help deal with problems or direct me to additional help if needed.
During my first year at Lamerhav, in additional to my counselor, I was mentored by one of the other participants in the program. With his help I got to know Lamerhav from the point of view of an experienced participant and made a lot of new friends. Beyond our friendship, which grew and holds to this day, we also became business partners. With assistance from Lamerhav, we founded a small catering business which operated for two years.
During my tenure at Lamerhav, I took part in many of the social activities offered by the program: hikes, biking trips, program workshops and seminars, various interest groups of participants (one group published a book, one practiced knitting, another studied English, and there was even a band that put out an album). There was also an active kitchen, where we not only cooked delicious meals, but it also functioned as the hangout for old and new participants alike.
Looking back I can say that Lamerhav was my chance to grow. I was lucky to find a place that knew how to provide me with all the tools I’d need to face life and for my personal and social development. These were significant learning years for me. I met a lot of new people and amazing staff who inspired me in a way I don’t think I would have been able to find anywhere else. I’m glad I was able to get help and that I learned how to get from the program what I couldn’t get at home.
Today I can confidently say that where I am now is in large part due to the assistance, support, and tools I received from Lamerhav.