Interview with Gil Tankus – Lamerhav graduate
To me, Lamerhav was…
A place where I could be at the center. A place where I felt that I could evolve in the direction I wanted to go, and yet, explore other possibilities in a containing environment. Lamerhav was a fun place, a place where I could just hang out on the lawn or on the couch, play the guitar and enter into philosophical discussions with the other counsellors and young adults around. Lamerhav was a place of discussions, and arguments and compromise and agreement, almost every emotion in the range of emotions came up at one time or another. It’s difficult to summarize in a paragraph “what Lamerhav is to me” – perhaps because it is impossible.
How did you get to Lamerhav, and what is your first memory of the program?
I arrived at Lamerhav through the Kfar Saba Municipal Youth Center. From what I remember, it was suggested “by the way” to go to a meeting. The coordinator there told me to go to a meeting at Lamerhav, so that there would be someone to guide and direct me at that point in my life. I thought I had nothing to lose, so I did it. I was after my military service, so there weren’t that many places that could help me at that point in life. My first memory is that I arrived to an introductory meeting with Adi, and it was a very good and encouraging meeting. I then entered straight into Stage 3.
What meaningful experience do you have from Lamerhav?
The annual seminars have always been fun experiences, but the meetings with my counselors have definitely been the most significant thing. During my time at Lamerhav, I had two counsellors, first Maya Ben Aharon and then Avner Barkai, and they were both very meaningful to me.
What did you gain from your time at Lamerhav?
I have gained peace of mind. I have received both financial support as well as guidance, so it really helped me to overcome very difficult periods and made it easier for me during my years of study. It was a complex time in my life, and the program and the guidance served as a solid foundation in my life, a place to get help, share difficulties and receive support. For me, it was not at all obvious. Although I was in a serious relationship (which later led to marriage), I felt that having a counsellor that I could lean on, only strengthens me. I have always received good advice, reinforcement and support of self-improvement processes.
What message would you like to convey to young adults starting the program?
My message to people starting the program is: know how to utilize and use the resources of the program. It will really help you, as this is the objective of the program. It is not only financial resources but also the amazing people, who are willing to share their experience (both counsellors and graduates) to really help you.
What are you doing today?
Today I am 34, married +1 (and another baby on the way). I am a mathematician, and a software engineer by profession. I work for a high-tech company in Tel Aviv, and study for a master’s degree in Mathematics at Bar Ilan University, where I studied for my bachelor’s degree, and will probably continue for my Ph.D.