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Passport to a Better Future

Posted on April 6, 2016

Sometimes you just walk into a place and know that one person can really make a difference. I felt that immediately when I first met the director, Judith bar Zemer, at “Mercaz Klass” learning center in the Katamon Gonen neighborhood of Jerusalem. Under Judith’s tutelage, the children from ages 6 through 18 receive tutoring in Continue Reading »

Winning Hearts in 4 Weeks

Posted on March 21, 2016

Adah Radzin volunteered in January 2016 in Bat Yam through a placement organized through Skilled Volunteers for Israel. Tachkemoni is an elementary school with 400 children in grades one through six. The school is in Bat Yam, a poorer city cousin of Tel Aviv. The school building is built for a warm climate. The walls Continue Reading »

?מה עשית היום What did you do today?

Posted on February 28, 2016

It’s not the school bell that marks the end of the lesson. The bell has been replaced by the rousing rendering of a popular song, “Ma Asita Hayom,”* blasted over the sound system every fifty minutes.   Its sudden boom may generate activity in the classrooms. Where I sit, on a bench in the playground, nothing Continue Reading »

Embracing Israel

Posted on January 14, 2016

December 29, 2015 I write this as I sit in our rented Jerusalem apartment, having completed the final day of my volunteer assignment, and as I anticipate boarding the plane back to Boston tomorrow.  It is truly a daunting task to attempt to put words to the experience of the last month, in a way that does Continue Reading »

A Safe Space for All

Posted on December 28, 2015

The International YMCA in Jerusalem: A Truly Safe Space for Palestinian, Christian, and Israeli Jewish Teens One of the highlights of my professional career was volunteering in Jerusalem for the nonprofit organization, Skilled Volunteers for Israel. It was my first time in Israel. While I am a little too “seasoned” to pick grapes on a Continue Reading »

Atmosphere of Caring

Posted on December 28, 2015

As part of my commitment for my placement at Melabev with Skilled Volunteers for Israel (SVFI) I agreed to write about my placement experience and so this memoir includes the important part played by the people at Skilled Volunteers for Israel. From the day I made an enquiry on the website to the day I Continue Reading »

A Perfect Match

Posted on October 13, 2015

I served as a Skilled Volunteer for Israel, assisting a child welfare agency, Bayit L’chol Yeled (BiLY), from mid-August through mid-October 2015.   This exceptional experience both enriched me personally and added a depth to my time in Israel that will be with me for the rest of my life. Our daughter Aviva was planning a Continue Reading »

A Warm Welcome to a Returning Volunteer

Posted on September 11, 2015

I first volunteered at the English speaking Melabev Memory Centre in Jerusalem in January 2015, whilst my husband worked for a week with deprived children at the Trudi Birger Dental Clinic also in Talpiot. When he suggested returning to the clinic for another week at the end of August, I had no hesitation in asking whether Continue Reading »

Shir Harmony

Posted on August 18, 2015

This morning, on the way to the Takhana Merkazit,  תחנה מרכזית , the Central Bus Station, two Israelis asked me for directions to the Rakevet Kalah רכבת קלה, the Light Rail that runs through Jerusalem. I answered them in Hebrew.  “Go to the corner, turn right.  It’s really close.”  They thanked me and proceeded to their Continue Reading »

Dedication in Action

Posted on August 18, 2015

Last month, I volunteered for 3 weeks at the Hebrew language Melabev center in the Givat Masua neighborhood of Jerusalem, not too far from the Jerusalem Zoo. It was a challenge to me in many ways but also a very rewarding and educational experience. There I saw not only a safe and stimulating environment for Continue Reading »

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