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Dear friends of Yahel — 
I hope this email finds you safe and well. 
As many of you may know, Israel like many other countries, is currently dealing with a spike in Omicron cases. We are certainly feeling the challenges once again but also are proud that our fellows are able to continue their work in Lod, Haifa, and Rishon Letzion, and that our staff is able to continue building our seminars, summer programs, volunteer days and support our fellows in their important work. We see the needs rising as a result of the situation and are happy that we can assist wherever possible.  
At a time like this we are doubly excited to share some exciting news. We were recently approved two generous grants that will fuel the expansion of our work in two major areas that make up the core of our strategy for the coming years! 
The Jim Joseph foundation is investing in the development of the Yahel Alumni Community. We recently welcomed Gabrielle Richards, a Yahel alum herself, to our staff to spearhead this new project. Our ultimate goal is to create a global action-driven network of Yahel alumni, who will use the skills they acquired through their Yahel experience to mobilize peers in their communities to learn about local social issue, take action together to bring about positive change, and engage with Israel through a nuanced lens. 
Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies is investing in the growth of Yahel as a leading service-learning expert in Israel. This work will enable Yahel to scale its impact through our evolving selection of service-learning programs, as well as training and meaningful volunteer opportunities we provide to other organizations. 
We are thrilled and feel tremendously privileged to collaborate with two of the most important Jewish foundations, to strengthen and define young people’s connection to their communities, to their Jewish identity, and to Israel through valuable and impactful service. 
We hope you will enjoy learning what we’ve been up to at Yahel in the past few months. 
Warmly —
Dana and the Yahel team

have you volunteered recently? 
Yahel is creating meaningful volunteer experiences for hundreds of Israel Program participants
Our vision for the future of service includes the engagement of every young person spending significant time in Israel in a series of robust and meaningful volunteering experiences. Building this field — of impactful and meaningful service for Jews from around the world in Israel — includes spearheading the conversation around service, training program staff to successfully implement impactful volunteering in their programs, and initiating and leading meaningful volunteer days for participants from programs of all kinds.  
This year, Yahel is collaborating with Masa Israel to create significant volunteer experiences for hundreds of young adults from multiple programs. The first event of the year took place before Hanukkah for 140 Masa participants who lead special holiday activities for hundreds of children in 4 cities across Israel. One particularly special event took place in South Tel Aviv where we ran a winter fair for close to 250 refugee and asylum-seeking children together with Elifelet – a local non-profit working with this particular population. The next event will take place before Passover and will invite participants from multiple programs to join volunteering opportunities centered around food security. 
Building the field of meaningful service in Israel: 140 volunteers in Rishon Lezion, Lod, South Tel Aviv, and Haifa planning and running activities for over 400 kids in honor of Hanukkah. 

3 fabulous opportunities
to come to Israel with Yahel this summer!
We have three outstanding opportunities lined up this summer for undergraduate and graduate students to gain hands-on experience in the fields of social change and community action in Israel: 
More information and application details for these excellent programs which will take place in Haifa and Rishon Letzion are available here.

proud of our outstanding partnerships!
Yahel and CJP Haifa-Boston Connection
At Yahel, we understand the importance of real partnership. We believe that programs like ours have to be rooted in deep local partnerships which enable us to understand local needs, develop our strategy in each city, create a network of meaningful volunteer placements, and address needs in the best way possible. The recent expansion of our Yahel Social Change Fellowship opened the door to the addition of a new partner — the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston and their Haifa-Boston Connection team.
Hila Pniel-Perlman, the Director of the Haifa-Boston Connection Office recently shared these thoughts with us:
“This year for the first time CJP through The Boston-Haifa Connection is collaborating with Yahel Israel to promote relationships between young people from around the world with the residents of Haifa. The presence of Yahel volunteers in multiple programs and projects across the city, strengthens and revitalizes the connection between Israel and the rest of the world. These young people are learning about Israel through enriching experiences in the community and are building meaningful relationships that in the future will serve as inspiration to change the way others around the world perceive Israel — a crucial task in my opinion.  I wish Yahel volunteers much success, enjoyment, and growth through their important work”
We are grateful to Hila, her team, and our partners in Boston for their support and assistance in developing the Yahel Social Change Fellowship in Haifa and look forward to many more fruitful years of work together.
Yahel fellows volunteering at Shabbat Olami Kabalat Shabbat in Kiriyat Eliezer with Parents in the Center, a joint CJP and Haifa Municipality project supporting parents to young children in the city.

delighted to announce
The Nicholas Cleves Scholarship
Yahel is proud to offer the Nicholas Cleves Scholarship to provide extra funding to Yahel fellows who may not qualify for a Masa grant. William Van Den Broeck, a Yahel alumnus, and Nicholas Cleves became close friends during their time at Skidmore College. On October 31st, 2017 Nicholas' life was tragically taken away in a terror attack in New York City. The work carried out by participants of the Yahel Social Change Fellowship deeply reflects the values Nicholas lived by and wanted to bring to this world. As such, William worked to help create this scholarship, in Nicholas’ honor, as a way to expand opportunities for young adults to become change makers and create the kind of positive impact that Nicholas hoped for and believed in.
If you know young people passionate about social change — please send them our way, and mention this new and wonderful opportunity to receive financial support.

we <3 our fellows! 
Rachael Stone
Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Education: BA in Political Science and Peace, War, and Defense from UNC-Chapel Hill
Yahel City:  Lod
Describe a volunteer placement you particularly enjoy. What about your work there is meaningful to you? 
I volunteer at the Abraham Initiatives, an NGO working for equality among Arabs and Jews in Israel. Their initiative for shared learning was recently adopted by the Education Authority in the Gilboa Regional Council - an indication that their work is making real progress in the country. Being able to see and contribute to this work behind-the-scenes writing grants and creating surveys, connects with what I’m learning elsewhere through Yahel about living in a mixed city and all the complex issues that come with it.
Can you recall a profound or interesting idea you heard during the fellowship so far? 
I volunteer weekly with Shalom Azran, the head of the Education Department in Lod, to help him improve his English. He explained to me his vision for education in Lod and how he has three values that he promotes in his work. They are: Belief, Trust, and Love. You have to believe in a place and a people, trust them and have them trust you, and support them and do everything through love. I can really see that he lives by these three values and believes that the education in Lod can be better, trusts in the principals, students, and teachers in Lod, and supports them all with love.
What is something everyone should know about your Yahel city? 
Especially after the violence that happened in Lod in May, Lod has a bad reputation. From my experience living here, it is a thriving city. A thriving city with intensely complex issues, but thriving nonetheless. The people who live and work to make Lod a better city, especially people like our city coordinator Tamara Roitman, have such a love for the city that’s contagious - love despite the imperfections and difficulties. Aesthetically, Lod could be better, but the people in Lod make it the wonderful place that it is.

have you heard of
Chimes Israel?
Chimes Israel helps people with disabilities use their own abilities and skills to lead a life of dignity, independence and community participation. In Rishon Letsion, Yahel fellows volunteer with a supported employment program, which invites people with disabilities to join the workforce in accordance with their abilities and employment goals.
“Volunteering with Chimes has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Each day I'm there is filled with laughter, ridiculous dancing, and inside jokes that I've developed with the participants. One woman there and I have a secret handshake that cracks her up each time we do it. Their energy is infectious and I am looking forward to doing similar work wherever I end up after Yahel”. —Jack McCormack, Yahel fellow from New York
“Working at Chimes is always a refreshing start to the week. The participants are so excited to greet us and welcome us back into their workspace. Often, participants will ask for help with something they don’t really need help with, just so that we spend a little extra time with them, this really shows me they care about our presence. The language barrier could be difficult, but non-verbal communication doesn’t discriminate, so we understand each other. Most of the participants' only English words are ‘I love you’ and they never miss an opportunity to remind us of that, and I never hesitate to say it back”. —Sydney Luks, Yahel fellow from New Jersey

And help us develop a generation of skilled social change leaders!
And learn firsthand about Yahel's work on the ground!
Yahel equips young people from around the world with the skills to become life-long leaders of social change, through sustainable service in Israeli communities. Through this work, Yahel creates a nuanced conversation around Israel grounded in engagement with the country's beauty as well as its challenges.