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What a Difference!!

Posted on May 5, 2015

Jackie Koptowsky writes about her second day of volunteering. An experienced educator and educational administrator, Jackie brings unique professional insights into her volunteer settings. “What a difference a day makes!” Today we were in an elementary school that is comparable to an Art and Science Magnet School in the United States.  The students had beautiful Continue Reading »

Diverse Experiences Packed into One Day

Posted on May 5, 2015

Joe and Jackie Koptowsky are volunteering together in Yerucham at several local schools.  In addition, they are volunteering in the afternoon with Engliyada – an individualized English conversation program that pairs local Yerucham residents with native English speakers. Several evenings a week, the volunteers attend workshops or cultural sites to learn more about the community of Continue Reading »

The Ness Loan Fund

Posted on May 5, 2015

Submitted by Howard Schneider, May 4, 2015, Beersheba, Israel A very busy yet interesting day.   I arose at 7 to meet my ride to Beersheba. Today is the meeting of the Ness Loan Fund.   The Ness Loan Fund was established to assist small businesses in the Negev. It is a joint program of Continue Reading »

Launching the 2015 Volunteers in the Negev – First Impressions

Posted on May 4, 2015

The 2015 Volunteers in the Negev program launched on Thursday, April 30, 2015.  Six volunteers from Miami landed at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel and were immediately swept off to the Negev Desert to the small community of Yerucham, Miami’s partnership city. Lynne Elster, Howard Schneider, Alla and Zev Fayngold and Joseph and Jackie Koptowsky Continue Reading »

Jerusalem’s “Gold”

Posted on March 29, 2015

In case you’ve been living under a rock, you probably noticed that this past month there were elections here in Israel. Results of the elections aside, it pained me to not be able to cast my ballot in the place that I am living, to be part of the process that shapes the lives and Continue Reading »

Two Settings = One Wonderful Volunteer Experience

Posted on February 24, 2015

My introduction to Skilled Volunteers for Israel began with the thorough application process used to learn about each other. It was impressive to see the care that Marla Gamoran and her colleagues demonstrated in the initial activities. I don’t know if I was different than most potential volunteers since my background is more small business, Continue Reading »

Best Place to Be

Posted on February 24, 2015

In one room, four pre-teen girls closely followed the complicated sequence of Zumba steps their teacher, Lisa, was doing in time to the music. In an adjacent room, a small group of children, aged 6-13, sat in a circle petting a variety of animals brought in by Aryeh, a volunteer from the community. One boy Continue Reading »

A Perfect Match!

Posted on February 24, 2015

“Collaboration” could easily be my middle name. My professional life within the educational, nonprofit world depended on working closely with colleagues.  Collaborating to generate ideas, brainstorm, create diagrams, and organize ideas into charts for strategic planning was the modus operandi I had become accustomed to.  It was second nature after directing many different U.S. Department Continue Reading »

A Week of Caring and Contributing

Posted on February 5, 2015

I have just returned to the UK after an inspiring and rewarding week and I feel privileged to have experienced the amazing, warm, caring and positive environment at Melabev. My husband is a dentist and was going to Israel to work for a week with deprived children at the Trudi Birger Clinic in Talpiot  and Continue Reading »

Volunteering: Unpeeling The Dimensions of Israel

Posted on February 4, 2015

As a first time volunteer through Skilled Volunteers for Israel, I learned firsthand that this organization cultivates vital connections, fosters community and nurtures commitment between Diaspora Jews and Israel. One aspect of Skilled Volunteers for Israel that attracted me is the way the organization customizes each volunteer’s experience to his/her interests and skills. Once in Israel, Continue Reading »



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