My focus here is on the fact that this school, like any other situation or place or any general aspect of life, is a container for a group of kids and teachers who are comprised of far more than meets the eye. The difference for me is that I’m starting to get to know them intimately. And I’m starting, even, to get to know the surrounding community, whose many factors are starting to inform the stories inside the school walls. I’m fascinated and inspired and shocked and deeply saddened by what I’ve heard so far, for the past and the present and the future, and I feel as though I’m sitting on the tipping point of action. Ready to do something but staying myself patiently because I know I need to be better informed, if at all. … More The Faces I See: The Children of El Razi Elementary School
Today’s participant blog post comes from Benji Bernstein, a participant in the Yahel Social Change Program. Benji’s group is living, learning and volunteering in Lod, Israel for 9 months this year. This post was taken from Benji’s personal blog, which can be found here. The last few weeks in Ramat Eliyahu have been very busy, but exciting as always. … More Creating Dialogue on Social Change Through Israeli Hip-Hop
Since I’ve been in Israel, and living in the mixed Arab-Jewish city of Lod, I’ve constantly heard about the difficulties Arab citizens face on a daily basis as a minority group within Israel. As a white Jewish woman, I recognize how I experience fewer barriers in my daily life within Israel as a part of the majority. I also grew up with the notion that privilege somehow equates with an inherent ability to help others. But as I spoke to these incredibly smart, funny and kind students, all I could think about was the tremendous capacity we all had to teach each other about our respective languages and heritages.
Walking back home from the first exchange meeting, I was so excited to have the chance to participate in such an initiative. I know that English is a valuable tool here in Israel, so I’m glad I can be of help for students to whom English is a second – and sometimes third – language. Conversely, I have so much to learn about Arab society and culture here in Israel, and now I have a tremendous resource through this partnership. … More Partnership ,Tzedakah and the Universality of Giving
Today’s participant blog post comes from Jens Jacobsen, a participant of the Yahel Social Change Program. This group is living, learning and volunteering in the Ramat Eliyahu neighborhood of Rishon LeZion for 9 months this year. When you decide to move to a foreign country, city, neighbourhood and community with the goal of having an impact for social … More Shofars and Social Justice: An Exploration of Ramat Eliyahu’s Religious Communities
Today’s participant blog post comes from Larry Gersz, a participant of the Yahel Social Change Program. This group is living, learning and volunteering in the Ramat Eliyahu neighborhood of Rishon LeZion for 9 months this year. A Day in the Life: A Brief Journey Through The Day of a Yahelnik Our … More A Day in the Life: A Brief Journey Through The Day of a Yahelnik
This blog post was written by Darya Watnick. Darya is a participant on the Yahel Social Change Program. The past six weeks, at promptly 9:30 am on Thursday mornings we met with Rabbi Levi Lauer for an hour and a half class where we discussed everything from God, Judaism and evil in the world to … More “You can’t dance at two weddings with one rear end.”
Today’s guest blog post was written by Sarah Brown-Campello. Sarah is one of the amazing participants on the Yahel Social Change Program this year. I can’t believe I’ve been in this country for a month and a half already. Time is really flying and the program is only getting started! One of the core aspects … More Each One Teach One
This post was written by Jessica Baverman. Jessica participated in the Yahel Social Change Program from 2012-13. This article was originally printed in Avodat HaKodesh. I recently completed a nine-month service-learning program in Gedera, Israel, during which I lived in and engaged with the Ethiopian Israeli community. As part of the Yahel Social Change Program, seven … More RELATIONSHIPS MAKE CHANGE: SACRED SERVICE-LEARNING IN ISRAEL
This blog post was written by Hannah Roberts. Hannah was a participant in the Yahel Repair the World Onward Israel Service Learning Initiative. Hannah volunteered at a women’s shelter in Be’er Sheva. Part of Yahel’s Repair the World Onward Israel Service Learning Initiative is to bring our experiences in Israel back to our college campuses; for me the University … More Bringing it Home
Today’s blog was written by Miriam Aniel, a participant in the Yahel Repair the World Onward Israel Service Learning Initiative in Israel. Miriam volunteered at a women’s shelter in Be’er Sheva for six weeks this summer. Kids fight and make up. Kids stab each other with their words, then join each other for pretend-tea-time. Kids scream and fidget, hug … More How Do We Say Goodbye?