Last August we gathered together-young people from Beer Sheva and Montreal, Canada-and spent three very special and fun weeks with each other. This was thanks to the Kefiada project under the auspices of Partnership 2000, Start-Up, and the Acharai organization. The principle behind the project is to bring together young Montrealers, whose connection to Israel is strong and very important to them, and young Israelis, particularly graduates of Acharai from Beer Sheva. To work hand in hand for the success of their encounter and naturally, to continue keeping in touch. The encounter between the two groups included familiarization with Israel, Jewish identity and values, spending time together and having fun…
In preparations prior to the meeting of both groups, Kefiada participants chose not only to take trips and get to know new friends and spend time with them: They also decided to volunteer and launch projects for special populations in the community and the community at large. Their guiding principle-leadership and initiative.
One of the projects initiated by Kefiada participants was a sports and recreation day for the special youth population at Adanim Youth Village. Attractions included sports competitions, food stands, makeup, music and bringing loads of happiness for an amazing bunch of kids. Another project was for the benefit of mentally deficient adults at Beit Cohen and consisted of creative activities.
Following three intensive weeks of being together, the path walked together by the Montrealers and Acharai graduates doesn't end. After the Canadians returned home, they continued their involvement in social undertakings for the benefit of the Montreal Jewish community. And like them, the Acharai graduates have chosen to continue developing their group during the year. Between studies and work, they're finding time to gather together to conceive and advance ideas, from the preparation stages through to action in the field.
During Tu Bishvat, graduates and current participants in Acharai planted flowers on the grounds of Yesodot School along with the school's students. They also led the students through an activity focused on the topic of recycling.
During Passover, we took part in a fun activity to mark the holiday with children of Ethiopian olim at the Haruv Absorption Center; in addition, we organized several clean-up projects around the center.
The Kefiada project, as its name implies ('kef' = fun), was lots of fun, thanks mainly to our encounter with the Canadians. It's very important that during the year, the two groups continue the process that's begun-to become a dynamic collection of young people who continue to spearhead social endeavors and positively influence their respective communities.
by Kristina Kravitz, participant in the Acharai program