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Gaining and Giving – A Volunteer Shares

Posted on January 3, 2017

I have been traveling to Israel almost yearly for more than twenty years to visit family and friends and take classes at the Conservative Yeshiva, but it was only when I began to volunteer with Skilled Volunteers, several years ago, that I felt I was making a unique contribution to the land and the people, Continue Reading »

Lived as an Israeli

Posted on December 16, 2016

For one month I lived like an Israeli – going to work each day, getting a bus pass, taking buses all over the city of Jerusalem, shopping in grocery stores, and just getting the ambience of the city.   Although I have been to Israel over twenty times and traveled all over the country, I never Continue Reading »

Forever Changed

Posted on September 8, 2016

Israel…… Even writing the Word brings tears to my eyes.  This is not a trip that you can simply make by reserving flight, hotel, and tours and expect to have an authentic experience of the country and the people. Somehow I understood this and knew that I had to make a positive contribution to this Continue Reading »

Playing “Catch” in English

Posted on August 15, 2016

This summer (2016), I came to Jerusalem to study and volunteer. My volunteer assignment was in a learning center in a working class Jerusalem neighborhood where I volunteered three afternoons a week for five weeks. I was assigned to work with elementary school age children.   To get their attention during the hot summer months I Continue Reading »

Incredibly Touched

Posted on August 11, 2016

Although I only spent two weeks at ‘Melabev Memory Club English’, it really made a lasting impression, and I was sorry when my time there came to an end. Skilled Volunteers for Israel was incredibly helpful in setting up the placement for my specific requirements – a significant one being that I speak no Hebrew. Continue Reading »

A Game of Chess Opens Memories

Posted on August 11, 2016

Volunteering at Melabev can bring quite unexpected surprises. I am a 48 year old woman living in Switzerland and came to Israel this summer as a volunteer with the goal of improving my Hebrew.  Melabev’s Memory Clubs provide activities and innovative treatment methods aimed at stimulating those affected by Alzheimer’s and improving their quality of Continue Reading »

Welcome Teacher

Posted on August 10, 2016

Last summer I knew I wanted to spend the summer in Israel.  However, here I was a mature woman in my 50’s, a New York City Department of Education teacher of English as  a Second Language as well as Reading, English and History.  Every Israel volunteer summer program I found was geared to young people Continue Reading »

Two Years, Two Volunteer Experiences

Posted on August 10, 2016

For my 2016 Skilled Volunteers for Israel (SVFI) volunteer gig, I deliberately chose a different type activity than my 2015 SVFI experience at Melabev. While my 2015 volunteer position was very much hands-on, I wanted utilize a different set of skills and to focus more on policy matters in 2016. Though the 2015 and 2016 Continue Reading »

Really Lived There!

Posted on June 2, 2016

Three days a week for four weeks this spring, I walked through the Jaffa Gate into the Old City of Jerusalem, weaving my way on the narrow stone streets past vendors and tourists, stopping sometimes for a bagel at Hurva Square, to a two-story building on Mount Zion Road. Could anyone have a better commute Continue Reading »

Volunteering for Purpose

Posted on May 10, 2016

I had been looking to explore another world—a space to give me purpose, pause, and reflection. I needed to briefly step aside from my work in the states to return to a place that would both fulfill my commitment to service and allow me to reconnect with the country I had been away from for Continue Reading »

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