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The Start of Our Adventure!

Posted on June 5, 2013

May 29, 2013 The ride to the airport was quick, getting our boarding passes easy & going through security a snap….a great way to begin our journey to Israel. Heather & Ron Hoffman are as excited as we are as we begin our trip. Gerry & Queenie Rich                   Continue Reading »

Welcome to the Desert

Posted on June 5, 2013

On May 30, Skilled Volunteers for Israel, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and Atid BaMidbar welcomed our first skilled volunteering group.  Located in Israel’s Negev Desert, Yerucham is Miami’s partnership community. The five volunteers in the group  are our first Desert Volunteers! Gerry and Queenie Rich – Miami/Toronto Rabbi Larry Halpern – Miami Ron & Continue Reading »

Blank Canvas – A Volunteer Painter Builds Colorful Memories

Posted on March 8, 2013

Chip Kogan lives near Cleveland, Ohio.  A retired teacher and youth leader, Chip also knows how to do light maintenance, painting, cooking, catering….He brings a plethora of skills coupled with his “can-do” attitude. Chip spent 6 weeks in Israel in 2012 volunteering in Tzfat with a group of Jewish young adults.  His experience only fueled Continue Reading »

Empowering Self Sufficiency and Community Strength

Posted on January 9, 2013

In late August of 2012, a volunteer at the African Refugee Development Center (ARDC) wrote an editorial for the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, abhorring the Israeli Interior Minister’s request to detain Sudanese asylum seekers in make-shift tents in the Negev desert beginning in October 2012.  Many of these people were survivors of the Darfur genocide, and Continue Reading »

A Volunteer’s Language Skills Connect Past and Present

Posted on August 30, 2012

Before I came to Jerusalem this summer, I did not have an idea about what the best place for volunteering for me could be.  Because of my lack of experience in volunteering work, I could not specify my needs and expectations. However, one thing was clear: I wanted to do something useful in my free Continue Reading »

A Volunteer Reflects

Posted on August 21, 2012

Ruth Wicks is a Volunteer & Study participant.  Ruth volunteered with two organizations during her three week experience.  She shares something of her experiences – the positive, the frustrating and her insights into some of the realities of volunteering over a short period. Hod Jerusalem Home,  a residential home for elderly people with serious challenges, both mental and Continue Reading »

Sustainable Expertise

Posted on August 7, 2012

  Dr. Joan Lurie volunteered at a start-up Jerusalem based non profit that promotes and manifests an inter-religious vision for environmental sustainability by encouraging the cooperation and training of religious leaders, teachers, and communities on ecological issues.  Joan shares her experience:   “Yonatan Neril – director of the Interfaith Center for Sustainability – is a very Continue Reading »

Beyond Politics – the Human Face of Asylum

Posted on August 2, 2012

Lionel Rabie has extensive experience in the food and hospitality industry.  He put his business experience to work volunteering to provide one on one consultancy with an Asylum Seeker in Tel Aviv who was starting up a bakery business.  Through Microfy, an organization that provides training and micro loans to Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Lionel’s Continue Reading »

In the Company of Angels

Posted on July 31, 2012

This morning, my poor heart was both crying and smiling at the same time. From 9:00 a.m. until 2:15 p.m. I was at Melabev in Jerusalem. You see, as much as I like reading lots of books, taking exercise classes at the YMCA  and playing “words with friends,” I have felt somewhat unproductive while in Continue Reading »

Refugee Children at Gan Nitzanim

Posted on July 31, 2012

When I first stepped foot in the Gan Nitzanim classroom, little did I know the life-changing experience I was about to have.  As the days progressed, I became accustomed to the kids’ daily schedule of playtime, songs, breakfast, and outdoor time and the close relationships they share with their teachers.  Beyond the basic workings of Continue Reading »



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