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Dear Yahel Community,
October 7th will forever define 2023. These past three months have been some of the hardest our country has ever seen; Israel is also as resilient as it has ever been. We have seen the power of volunteerism at play - Israel's civil society has stepped up and met countless crucial needs. Yahel is proud to continue to be a part of these efforts - understanding needs on the ground and meeting them in responsible and sustainable ways. 
At the same time, anti-Semitism is rampant around the world. Engaging young people from around the world in authentic, nuanced Israel programming has never been more important.
Yahel is uniquely positioned to do both - engage in responsible volunteering while providing immersive and nuanced Israel engagement for young people around the world.
Since the beginning of the war, we have engaged between 15 – 250 volunteers every week in agricultural volunteering, food packaging, activity fairs for evacuees and more. Many of these volunteers are new immigrants and are participating in Yahel's new pilot program “Olim Shalav”. Engaging immigrants of all ages in volunteering not only provides practical support to local projects but also empowers immigrants to connect with their new community, feel a sense of belonging and build their resilience.
Looking ahead, we are excited to relaunch the Yahel Social Change Fellowship in January and introduce "Yahel Together," a 6-week program in partnership with MASA in February. These programs have been carefully adapted to be relevant in building community resilience post-October 7th, offering individual placements within cities, along with travel for agriculture, food packaging, and other projects as needed. We are also working on many additional programs and partnerships for the spring and summer of 2024.
Participants in all our programs will be exposed to the real Israel, gain a deep understanding of its people, and a true appreciation for the country and its nuances - so they can go home and be our emissaries. 
I am incredibly proud of Yahel's Emergency Relief Campaign, and am honored as Yahel continues to support grassroots organizations as they meet needs on the ground. Given the circumstances, we chose not to run our annual crowdfunding campaign to support Yahel's organizational needs. 
I turn to you now, as 2023 comes to a close, to invite you to donate to Yahel in order to ensure that we will be able to continue running responsible volunteering programming through authentic, immersive Israel experiences for volunteers from around the world.
Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year. May 2024 bring us resilience, safety and peace.
With gratitude,
Dana and the Yahel Israel Team