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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 »

Created in the Image of G-d

Posted on August 12, 2015

מוגבל, in Hebrew, means limited.  The individuals who live at Israel Elwyn are labeled by this term.  But, they are not defined by this word.  Who amongst us is not מוגבל, limited?  Yet, are we not all whole, precious, worthwhile souls, regardless of our skills, abilities, goals, ambitions, competence, talents, awards, degrees, achievements?  Do we Continue Reading »

Elementary School Experience

Posted on July 5, 2015

I have been very privileged to have been afforded a placement at the Givat Gonen Elementary School, in the Katamonim neighbourhood of Jerusalem through Skilled Volunteers for Israel. This is my second placement arranged by the organisation; in 2013 I spent almost 9 weeks volunteering at the Keren Kagan Mercaz Klass after school learning center Continue Reading »

To Be Part of the Land

Posted on July 5, 2015

When I planned a sabbatical in Israel, I was looking for a break from my real life. But I also wanted to do something in Israel that would let me go beyond being a tourist and experience just a bit of real Israeli life. The core of my month-long sabbatical in Israel was spent volunteering Continue Reading »

Volunteering at the Macro Level

Posted on May 31, 2015

I am so grateful to Skilled Volunteers for connecting me with ORAM International. Terry and Marla worked with me to find a placement that would be of interest, benefit from my skill set, and fit with my schedule and needs. The work at ORAM combines my editing skills and my social work background extremely well. Continue Reading »



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