Two months just isn't enough time!
By: Danielle Mizrachi
I continue to learn more about Jerusalem and the problems that exist in certain areas of the city. Yair took Aurore and I around to the different neighborhoods Bakehila works in. He explained the make-up of the neighborhoods of Talpiot, Neve Yaakov, Pisgat Zeev, Katamon, and Beit Sefafa. This made me even more excited to begin working at the two-week learning camp in Gilo. In addition to this, I appreciated every assignment that I was being given, knowing that it contributed to helping the organization with its mission.
Aurore and I planned a lot of different English learning activities for the kids. The first day of camp was a little overwhelming but so much fun. I began to recognize the different personalities of each of the kids I was working with. Most of them were eager to learn and participate. They loved the English activities Aurore and I created and the kids learned a little more each day. The Shinshinim at the school were also so inspiring. It was sweet to see how well they interacted with the kids and how invested they were at helping them. I could tell how the children trusted the Shinshinim. Over the course of the two weeks I saw how much more confidence the students had in the classroom. Despite the language barrier and short period of time, I developed close relationships with many of the children.
Although I was sad to leave the summer camp and the children, I was excited to be back in the office. I missed seeing all the staff at Bakehila. I continued working on various jobs such as the facebook page, editing the webpage, a newsletter, and drafting background information on the organization. The relevance of the issue (social immobility) Bakehila is alleviating also became more apparent to me. My program held a discussion on how the school system in Israel is organized and how it has created a gap in both the wealth and mentality of the communities here. The question of how to attempt to resolve this issue came up. Given what I have learned from my internship, I brought up the importance of the community, parental involvement, and self-confidence in breaking the cycle of poverty for children. I know that the organization works hard on improving these three things.
Another task I was working on was finding potential donors for the organization. Bakehila is only able to continue doing great work because of its contributors. I care so much for the organization and was excited to be doing this as one of my last assignments. My time at Bakehila has been a priceless and remarkable experience. I am so sad that I will be leaving Israel soon, but know I will stay in touch with the organization and the incredible people that work here.