04 Mar Teaching English and Making A Difference
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Chaya, 23, stayed in New York for college, studying political science and psychology. After graduation, she moved to Tel Aviv through The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Masa Israel Teaching Fellows (MITF) to work with children and teach them English.
“I found out about Masa through an ad on Facebook and did what every Jewish mother tells you not to do, I clicked on it,” Chaya recalled. “I’ve always wanted to live in Israel and thought this was a great chance to get my feet wet.”
Having long been passionate about social justice, and specifically helping to uplift minority communities, Chaya discovered her ideal MITF program in BINA’s TLV-Ramla track. She’ll spend half of her 10-month Israel experience living in Tel Aviv working within a lower socioeconomic school with a large migrant population. The other five months will be spent in the richly diverse city of Ramla, another low-income area, where most high school students do not go on to pursue higher education.
“My desire to join BINA’s TLV-Ramla track stems from my belief that children, no matter their upbringing, deserve opportunities to excel,” said Chaya. “The school that I am working at now in Tel Aviv, and the one I will be working at in Ramla will give me the opportunity to work with children who are not given adequate resources to succeed, and it is my hope that this track will help me to better the lives of underprivileged youths and give them the chances they rightfully deserve.”
In our globalized world, language is key to economic and political success... By helping to teach young students English, I am giving them access to an entire world.
Chaya’s time teaching through MITF and forging relationships with her students has allowed her to view firsthand the beauty of diversity and to personally connect with communities that are often unacknowledged by the media, she shared.
“The connections with my students have introduced me to the rich culture that inspires Israeli society and the importance of encouraging connections between Israeli and Arab communities. It has also reaffirmed my desire to commit my career to help at-risk youths and underprivileged community members.“
Her students in Ramla are generally from underprivileged communities where most of them never encounter English in their day-to-day lives. For many children in the community, having a real relationship with a young adult from abroad is a dream come true.
“In our globalized world, language is key to economic and political success. Specifically English, and proficiency in it unlocks global opportunities that are far more difficult without it. That is why what we are doing is so important,” explained Chaya. “By helping to teach young students English, I am giving them access to an entire world.”