Category Archives: Israel

Volunteering week 4- Kadima

Last week we moved from our first camp to the Kadima Youth Club, where kids
meet every day after school throughout the year as well as during the summer
vacation. The atmosphere at Kadima is much different. There are fewer kids and
they have more free time so we have more of an opportunity to spend individual
time with them and make a connection.
Our first experience when we arrived to Kadima was playing a card game with
two of the kids. It is called Kareh Kupeh (Signal or Kent in English). We had a
lot of fun, especially because the kids cheated in increasingly obvious ways.
By the end, they were attempting to rip the cards out of our hands to see what
we had. However, we got the last laugh as I discovered that their signal was
kicking each other under the table. I simply placed my legs between them and
whenever I felt a kick, I announced “Kareh Kupeh!” and won the round, much to
their amazement.
On Monday we went with the kids to the swimming pool and on Tuesday we
went on a trip to Jerusalem. We started with a tour at the newly renovated Israel
Museum, followed by lunch and then some arts and crafts. Then, after getting
slightly lost on the bus ride with the bus driver who had no idea how to get to the
Old City, we made our way to the Kotel where we had just a few minutes before it
was time to return to Bat Yam.
Back at Kadima, we helped the kids and counsellors paint the set for the
upcoming closing performance with the theme of Hisardut (Survivor). Also, we
spent lots of time with the kids preparing and rehearsing lines, dances, and
videos for the performance.
We also prepared a Canada Day for the kids. I played a trivia game with them
and helped them find Canada on the map. Nechama helped them decorate
Canadian flags and make paper snowflakes. David organized a relay race that
highlighted various aspects of Canadian culture. The kids had a lot of fun and
learned a lot of new things about Canada.
Overall, we have had a lot of fun at Kadima and even after just one week we
have made a great connection with the kids.
-Brian Shaposhnik

You are Canadian, make pancakes!

Sorry for the delay in posts. We promise more to come soon. Here is another update.

Where to begin….

Words cannot describe the experience we’re having. The past few weeks in Bat Yam have been filled with highs and lows. Though the volunteering got off to a rocky start, once we got used to the camps it started getting easier and easier. One of the first programs conducted at Camp Nitzana was Canada Day activities. Arriving at camp in the morning, we were informed that today was Canada Day, and therefore we would be teaching english words and making pancakes, Canada’s ‘national food’. My job was the pancake making, in which I was given a hot plate, flour, sugar, eggs, and oil, and sent on my way. What was missing was a recipe… being Canada’s national food, of course I knew how to make pancakes! Cue improvisation. (They turned out to be very tasty, for those who were wondering).
This was our introduction to working in Israel, where you have to take everything as is comes and just go with the flow. The rest of the week followed this pattern. Whether at the pool, in camp, or on outings, we just went with the flow and enjoyed our time with the kids. At times, this was a very frustrating experience, due to the language barrier, kids misbehaving, and never knowing exactly what was going on. However, there were also the benefits and warm feelings that came along with the experience.
At the end of the day, what we are left with are the memories we make and what we gain from volunteering, and the knowledge that we are making a difference in a child’s life. This can take the form of the look of excitement on the kids faces when they see us every morning to how one girl invited me to live in her house and wants to come back to Canada to visit mine. No matter what happens in the next two weeks, volunteering with Hillel in Bat Yam will definitely be a trip to remember.
Check out these videos of Canada Day at one of the camps.
– Nechama Hirchberg

And We’re Off!

Following a week in Israel and completing all necessary preparations the group is on its way to India!

We spent last weekend together in a preparatory seminar, getting to know each other and discussing different topics relevant to our mission. We had different activities around Tel Aviv: Getting to know the city Shuk (street market), spending time at the famous Tel Aviv beach and hearing a lecture about refugees in Israel. Throughout the weekend we got to know each other and bond as a group.

The Canadian students spent some time volunteering and getting acquainted with the city while Israeli student finished exams, and now the group is off!

My name is Maayan and I have been working on the Olamot program on behalf of Hillel, in cooperation with IsraAid and Israeli Friends of Tibetan People, here in Israel. I participated in Olamot 2009 mission and am happy to continue with the program on it second year. It is amazing to see this group of young motivated people starting their way on this exciting adventure!

I wish them luck and am looking forward to hearing of the experiences on their way.