OFAKIM, ISRAEL - The initiative began three years ago when five volunteer trainers came to Israel for a week to teach their skills to local area residents, in order to help them achieve calm in the face of the near-incessant rocket fire, says Tal Morag Makovsky of MetroWest – Ofakim - Merchavim.
One local resident lauded the initiative, saying "It is so touching to realize we have friends in the MetroWest community who care so much, that they're ready to leave their families and their work for a full week and come here for one purpose—to give.”
The program has brought them a "temporary feeling of tranquility."
The yoga teacher delegation is a P2G project which began in 2009 with MetroWest resident Leslie Gurland, who had participated in project Otzma many years before and was involved with yoga in her personal life.
Gurland suggested to a few local yoga instructors that they volunteer in Ofakim. Since then, two additional delegations have made the transnational trek, and five women from Ofakim have made a reciprocal visit to New Jersey.