Interview with Avital Gold, Certified Sea Skipper

 Young Woman & The Sea


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Sailing!? Please tell us more. How did a successful religious accountant and mother find herself at sea?
I was contacted by phone and offered to join a course that was opening in Jerusalem (the theory was learned in Jerusalem), with no obligation. I tried it and loved it. Although there were some issues that came up being religious among a predominantly secular group, this didn’t present a problem. During the course, whenever halachic questions arose, our Rav guided me in what to do. Since sailing is so healthy mentally and so exhilarating, and because it’s not easy to undergo training as a religious man or woman under the current framework, I decided to open a religious branch for receiving boat skipper certification

Have you sailed out of Israeli territory?
I have sailed between the Greek islands. It was an extremely amazing experience and you can see the magnificent view through my photos.

How exactly is the course run? And so far from the sea too?
The classes consist of theoretical studies accompanied by instructional sailing trips for each of the main topics we learn: seamanship, navigation and mechanics. The duration of the course is about six months, with a weekly class of three hours.

Are participants given any sort of certificate upon course completion?
At the end of the course, participants receive the “Mashit 30” certificate, a skipper license, from the Ministry of Transport – Port Authority. This license allows one to sail or rent boats anywhere in the world.

Who is the course for? Any previous criteria or medical prerequisites?
The course is open to all, men and women, above age 18. You are required to sign a medical waiver, identical to the one submitted to the Ministry of Transport when getting a driver’s license.

How has your additional role of skipper enriched your life?
The quiet — the sound of the waves is known to be mentally healthy and extremely relaxing. The open air, the beauty of the sky, the water, the sunset and, outside of Israel, the sunrise on the horizon — all these things create a wonderful energy reserve inside us, which helps us cope with everyday life. There’s a spiritual component, too. I was at a shiur once, and the speaker mentioned hisbodedus. That concept resonated with me. You feel so close to Hashem out there on the water.

Is sailing intended to be a fun pastime or a serious hobby?
For me it’s really an addiction. A good friend of mine knows if I’ve been to sea by the size of the smile on my face. But each person has a different level of enjoyment. My husband joins the family sea outings, but won’t go out on a two-hour sailing trip just for fun. In contrast, my children and I — we get so excited if we get even an hour of sailing, in any weather condition.

Do you have anything new youre planning?
I am offering a day for women, for those who are interested in a morning of fun, rejuvenation and gathering strength. In addition, I will be opening courses in Beit Shemesh, Jerusalem and Modi’in for those interested in obtaining a skipper license and opening themselves up to a whole new world!



050-320-1948 • gold.taxes@gmail.com

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