It’s been about three months since I packed up my things and moved across the world to Israel. Things can be disorienting, strange, and uncomfortable when you move to a new country regardless of how much you prepare yourself mentally. There have been challenges that I anticipated (sharing a room, lack of certain creature comforts, homesickness) and those that were unexpected (how much the language barrier would impact me and cultural differences between schools in the U.S. and Israel). But even with these challenges, there is a strong feeling of appreciation for the people and things in my life here that make me feel at home or provide comfort, distraction, or happiness that is unlike anything I have experienced. Below are some of those things. … More Goals & Gratitude
Greetings from the bustling Israeli metropolis of Lod! This city will be my home for the next nine months as I take part in the Yahel Social Change program.
Why Lod and what’s this city all about?
Lod is one of many biblical cities in Israel. It’s mentioned multiple times in the Old Testament, it’s the hometown of roman soldier-turned-martyr St. George, 7th century capital of the Muslim military district, Crusader town, Ottoman industrial hotspot and a city called “Lydda” as part of the British Mandate in Palestine. It’s almost impossible to find a city in Israel that is not made up of layers upon layers of history, and Lod is certainly a prime example.
Unfortunately, Lod’s present does not reflect its rich history. Lod is the kind of city that most Israelis stay clear of.
When I was visiting the Israeli consulate to get my visa, the security guard told me, “be careful, that’s a rough place,” upon finding out I would be working in Lod. … More Life in Lod: Challenges and Change
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
This blog post was written by Rachel Edelman, a participant on last summer’s Onward Israel Repair the World summer program with Yahel. The post was featured on the website, Her Campus. You can find the link here. 1 in 3 women in the United States are raped at some point in their life. It’s a … More A Summer of Empowerment
This week’s parsha post was written by Amy Weiss, Director of Service-Learning Initiatives, at the University of Maryland Hillel. In Parsha Vayishlach, Jacob is struggling with the impending reunion with his brother Esau. While preparing for this encounter, Jacob engages in a wrestling match with a ‘man.’ This man has been interpreted by commentators to represent many … More Parsha Vayishlach
This week’s parsha post was written by Inbal Samin, the Director of the Yahel Social Change Program. In this week’s Parsha, Vayetze, Jacob dreams of a ladder reaching up to heaven with angels “ascending and descending upon it.” When he awakens, he declares “Indeed, the Lord is in this place, and I did not know … More Parshat Vayetze
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
In June, 2013, 15 college students from Hillel of Greater Philadelphia came to Netivot on an alternative break program with Yahel. They came to volunteer and learn together with Israelis in the community. The students stayed with families in Netivot and volunteered with several different local organizations. Below, Kelilah Miller, one of the staff members, shares her … More Reflections on Service-Learning, Greater Philadelphia Hillel in Netivot