For the past three weeks we have been living and working on the youth village at Hadassah Neurim. My time here has been a wonderful contribution to my experience on Project Otzma this year. We have had the opportunity to bond with students living here by teaching English as well as learning more about whom they are and where they come from.
From the moment that our group arrived at Hadassah Neurim, we have been welcomed with opened arms by staff, teachers, students, as well as the other volunteers. We feel as though we have been accepted as an important part of the community and feel as though Hadassah Neurim has been our home away from home. The relationships that we have developed here have become the most beneficial and memorable aspects of our time here.
Each day the other Otzma participants and we assist in English classes in the morning. In every class we are assigned to a particular group of students, or work one-on-one with particular students. During this part of the year, much effort is put toward preparation for the matriculation exam. Therefore, often when we work with students our time is spent preparing for this. Not only do we help with book assignments, but we also focus on English speaking ability.
We have been encouraged to develop our own activities and events. Therefore, we began our time here with a pe'elut (activity) where we were able to meet and interact with the youth outside of the classroom setting. Subsequently, we have been in the process of organizing an "American Day," which will be a day dedicated to learning more about American culture by having youth participate in various activities.
Although short, the time that we have spent here has been fulfilling. We came here to volunteer and give our time, but at the same time, we have gained so much more than we ever expected from the time that we have spent here.
Sivan 5763 - June 2003