Over 600 participants of Birthright Israel Spring/Summer 2013 volunteer in Chicago’s Partnership2Gether Region
Over 600 birthright participants gave several hours of their time to volunteer with the youth of Kiryat Gat –Lachish and Shafir over the spring and summer. Many groups spent the morning with elementary school students helping them develop fun learning tools for English enhancement, while other groups spent time with youth at the local Absorption Center or after school centers playing with the children as well as working on craft projects and sports. Almost all the visits ended with group dancing which needs no language! Some of the groups are also painting murals and helping to refurbish apartments for new immigrants from Ethiopia.
Each site visit also allows the groups to learn about a different aspect of Israel I society such as the education system, aliyah of the Ethiopian community to Israel as well as the various grassroots programs that deal with youth at risk.
The children in the region look forward to these special visits from birthright and the birthright participates enjoy an opportunity to experience relating with Israelis personally. For many on the trip the short visit that allows them to volunteer, learn about the partnership, meet Israelis , and learn about opportunities for them to return to the region, is a highlight.