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Dear friends of Yahel — 
Spring is here and with it many wonderful holidays and celebrations. Yet, unfortunately at the same time we see deeply upsetting and tragic events unfolding in Israel and around the world. Like so many others, we have been following the events in Ukraine, praying for the flames to subside. Simultaneously, we are dealing with a surge of violence here in Israel that is part of an endless vicious circle that seems so hard to break. It is the people who are rising to do what they can to ease the pain and suffering that give us hope. We are inspired by the tremendous monetary and human support that has been directed to Ukrainian refugees around the world and are especially proudly supporting a Yahel alumna who is taking much needed action (see below). We are also privileged to work together with incredible activists and communities here in Israel to create a real and lasting infrastructure for a thriving shared society.
Yahel programming continues to support these efforts in very real ways. This summer Yahel will host a total of 550 graduate students, undergraduate students, and teens for a wide range of immersive service and learning opportunities, assisting crucial work performed by dozens of communities and organizations across the country.
With this in mind, I want to wish our many wonderful friends, partners, participants, alumni, and staff a Happy Passover, Happy Easter, and a blessed and meaningful Ramadan. Kul a’am wa antum b’khair – May you and your loved ones be blessed every year. 
—Dana and the Yahel team

It is always exciting to expand our network 
Yahel is constantly growing its collaborations through programming on the ground 
We are thrilled to share two recent and special collaborations: 
In Lod, where Yahel has been working for the past 7 years, we began collaborating with Omniya (security in Arabic), a grassroots initiative founded by our dear friend, community leader and partner, Rana Awadi-Muhareb. Omniya serves as a space for women to develop personally and professionally, while creating a healthy work-family balance. Arab women of Lod and Ramle of varying ages and backgrounds are invited to participate in professional training and social activities, while their children are playing and learning in the next room. Two Yahel fellows are volunteering at Omniya this year, teaching English to groups of women who wish to improve their language skills and to children of varying ages through games and activities. We wish Rana and her team at Omniya the best of luck with this important work and Ramadan Karim!
Yahel fellows Michaela Seidman and Josh Socher running activities with Omniya women and children
In March, Yahel ran a series of volunteer opportunities for a total of 195 participants from multiple Masa Israel programs around the theme of food security in honor of Passover. Through these events, we began collaborating with Beit Eliyahu in South Tel Aviv, an organization founded in 1989 by Eliyahu Aminov who provided basic food supplies for a small group of families who were struggling to make ends meet. Over the years the organization grew tremendously and is currently the largest provider of food supplies and hot meals to people in need in the city of Tel Aviv. The organization relies on volunteers to assist with all aspects of their work, and Yahel is happy to help meet this need while offering an opportunity to learn about food security within the Jewish context of repairing the world. 
Participants from Career Israel Masa programs volunteering at Beit Eliyahu in South Tel Aviv last month

Yahel Alumni
Interesting stats and an exciting spring series
As part of Yahel's 4 year strategic roadmap, we are investing thought, effort, and resources in developing our growing Yahel Alumni Community. With the help of Dr. Ella Ben Hagai from Fullerton University, we recently conducted a Yahel alumni survey, with the goal of understanding how to better support and leverage the talents and skills held by this wonderful group of people. We are excited to share some initial data:
76% of Yahel alumni work in industries centered around helping others (i.e. education, healthcare, social services, philanthropy, public service).
87% stated that the skills they gained at Yahel help them in their professional work, especially empathy and intercultural skills as well as specific skills such as networking, fundraising, and digital communication.
96% of Yahel alumni volunteer on a regular basis.
68% of alumni who identify Jewish feel that being Jewish is important in their life, and 64% shared that their social change involvement is linked to their Judaism.
99% feel a connection to Israel.
Stay tuned for the full Yahel Alumni Survey report!
In addition, this month Yahel opened its alumni engagement Spring Series, kicking off with an alumni Shabbat gathering in Washington DC in partnership with One Table, and a Zoom panel on Responses and Perspectives of Global Refugee Challenges. Speakers included Yotam Polizer from IsraAID who called in from Moldova where he is directly responding to Ukrainian refugees, Sivan Carmel from HIAS Israel who works to offer legal representation for refugees and asylum seekers in Israel, and Annie Shore, a Yahel alumna, who works with JIAS as a social worker to help refugees integrate in Canada. The panel was moderated by our fabulous board member and alumna, Becca Garfinkel, and was concluded with a Yahel-style debrief and reflection.
Learn more about upcoming virtual and in-person alumni engagement opportunities in our Yahel Alumni Facebook group

Alumni Initiative 
Pearl Von Herder, Yahel Fellowship Lod alumna (2017-18), was born to a German mother and English father, and was raised in Odessa, Ukraine. With the outbreak of the current war, together with family and friends, Pearl launched Direct Aid Ukraine (DAU), a volunteer-based initiative that connects people outside of Ukraine wishing to donate, with trusted organization in Ukraine directly serving people in the community. The initiative has managed to raise and provide aid worth over €12,000 to hundreds of families in Ukraine in the weeks since the war started. Pearl holds a master’s degree in Emergency Management and currently works as a humanitarian aid worker in Amman, Jordan. This expertise is serving her in her role as Operative and Humanitarian Consultant at DAU. We are deeply inspired by this work and the work of so many other members of the Yahel alumni community and wish Pearl and her team success meeting this crucial need. To learn more about DAU and ways to support their work click here

This summer 
will host—
Follow Yahel's upcoming packed summer on Facebook and Instagram for live updates. 

To help us develop a generation of skilled social change leaders!
To 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.