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Savyonne Steindler - Yahel Social Change
LEARN ABOUT OUR PROGRAMSWhen you decide to apply, Masa Israel will match you with one of our eight program sponsors in Israel. Each works within a unique social or community framework, but all promise the chance to make a difference and the support you’ll need to do it.
Yahel Social Change Program
Yahel Social Change Program is a unique 9-month service learning experience for young adults between the ages of 21 and 27. The program, taking place in Gedera, Israel, combines hands-on volunteer work with in-depth learning and immersion. Yahel participants explore Israel by living, learning and volunteering alongside their peers from the local Ethiopian Israeli community. Yahel and its participants make meaningful contributions to Israeli society by working in collaboration with Friends by Nature – an Israeli grassroots organization working in the Ethiopian community in the fields of community empowerment and education.
The core of the Yahel Social Change Program is volunteer work. Participants work side by side with volunteers and staff of Friends by Nature – joining ongoing work in the following projects:
- - Tutoring: joining local teachers in tutoring students in various subjects (with an emphasis on English) as part of the ‘homework at home’ academic assistance program.
- - Community Gardening: working together with local residents in community gardens in the Shapira neighborhood.
- - Youth Activities: Taking part in facilitating recreational and educational activities for at-risk youth in the neighborhood as part of the Friends by Nature youth center.
- - Non-Profit Work: Interning in the Friends by Nature office, learning about how an Israeli non-profit functions and assisting in writing grants, social media development and more.
- - Additional Projects: Together with community members, participants engage in a process of identifying unmet needs and work together to implement appropriate programming in the community.
The learning component is an integral part of the Yahel Social Change Program and touches on many aspects of the experience.
- - Issue-based learning engages participants in learning about immigration, absorption, diversity and social change in Israel.
- - Cross-cultural training facilitates the integration of participants into their host community.
- - The Social Justice Beit Midrash is a pluralistic and creative setting that engages participants in a dialogue with texts and traditions that deal with questions of social justice and ethics.
- - Leadership development training focuses on the potential of participants to become change-makers themselves.
Participants will meet with major Israeli change-makers, community members, activists and experts from different fields. In addition, Yahel staff members will lead group discussions and support participants’ individual learning throughout the experience.
Study tours and day trips
The Yahel Social Change Program includes day trips as well as monthly overnight study tours. These trips are an opportunity to experience Israel off the beaten track, witness social change initiatives around the country, relax, and have fun.
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