Please enjoy this guest blog post from our lay leaders in Israel.
Every year, representatives of the Caring for Jews in Need Overseas Subcommittee travel to Israel with Stephen Cohen, Vice President of Planning and Allocations (P&A). The group visits programs that are funded through the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, as well as new and potential programs for future funding. Today was the first day of the 2016 site visit trip. Participants include Dr. Sherry Shuman, Betsy Rubenstein and Ziva Misulovin. Commentary and photos below from Sherry Shuman, Chair of the Caring for Jews in Need Overseas Subcommittee.
Today was an inspirational day in Tel Aviv for the committee supporting Jewish life overseas. Our first meeting was with Dan Ben David, an economist at Tel Aviv University. He outlined the challenges of the rapid changing economy of Israel with special emphasis on the education disparities between Israel and other countries. He spoke movingly of the complex ramifications of this change.
From there we went to Tel HaShomer Hospital and saw the incredible work of Milbat as they improved the lives of disabled individuals. We went to Muzot School and met two psychologists/principals who were changing the lives of teenagers and trying to help them struggle through the problems of adolescence.
And that was before lunch!
Lunch was with the founder of Road to Recovery and a volunteer who turned out to be a life long friend of Ziva’s, one of our committee members. This program organizes drivers (they have 600) to drive critically ill children from the Gaza to the Rambam Hospital. They do it to help the ill and promote coexistence.
We visited an after school program for the children of asylum seakers from Eritrea and Sudan. These children and there families experienced significant hardship and neglect from society. And to round off the first day we met an up and coming politician, Mickey Gitzun who is trying to make a more democratic Israel.
Here are some pictures from our first day: