Like Coming Home

Posted on July 28, 2017

Last year (2016) after turning 71 I visited Israel for the first time. When my EL AL flight touched down at Ben-Gurion Airport a strange sensation came over me – I truly felt like I was coming home, even though I had never stepped foot on Israeli soil before. It was only a short visit, Continue Reading »

Authentic and Warm

Posted on January 30, 2017

It was just over a year ago that I was sitting in front of my computer in Jerusalem, having just completed a month of volunteering in two different settings there, and trying to organize my thoughts and impressions.  Now I am doing the same, but in Haifa, where I volunteered for a month at a 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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