Mid-year Seminar at Kibbutz Ein Harod Meuhad
Half of the school year has quickly passed. It is time for Bakehila's 43 year-of-Service volunteers to recharge, after the hard work in Jerusalem’s underprivileged neighborhoods. In early February, the year-of-Service volunteers (Shinshinim) went to Kibbutz Ein Harod Meuhad in northern Israel, where they underwent 3 condensed seminar days of training and fun, experienced joint learning and gained strength for the second part of the year.

The seminar included workshops relevant for their work and personal lives: learning disabilities, child motivation, multiple intelligences, listening, roles in a group, and more. The year-of-service volunteers also enjoyed enrichment activities – thinking outside the box, theatre, ODT, art and group unification and dinner with families of volunteers who live in Ein Harod. The seminar was defined as a success by the staff and the volunteers, and one of the volunteers summed the event as "exactly what we needed right now. We got to break our routine a little, as well as gain energy and knowledge to return to it."


Family Day activity in Beit Safafa
In honor of Family Day that takes place in early February, the Learning Center in Beit Safafa had decided to have a special day outdoors, in order to connect the center's 115 students with their tradition. The students went to Gilo Park where they learned more about the Arab tradition and even prepared themselves a traditional breakfast that included Pita bread, Za'atar, Labane, salads and more.

Apart from the delicious food, the center's students enjoyed the interactive activity their dedicated staff prepared for them, as well as social games in Gilo Park. "Tradition is very important and the children need to know it", said Muhammad, one of the teachers at the leaning center, "besides, they work hard every day at the learning center – so they should also have some fun once in a while".


The poet Haim Gouri met with Bakehila's year-of-Service volunteers
Poet, author, journalist and Israel Prize laureate for Literature Haim Gouri , one of the “Tashach generation poets” (as well as Tamar's grandfather from the Katamon commune)- was a guest of Bakehila's curriculum at Beit Avichai . Gouri, a Palmach veteran, called the volunteers to take their place at the head of the camp fighting for the image of Israeli society: "I see you as the avant-garde force, the pioneer ahead of the crowd", Guri said, "Don't be 'conditional' Israelis. The biggest struggle of Israeli society, of the Jewish people, needs people like you. You need to be the political, moral and educational elite. You must keep the moral guidelines that define our existence as a people and pass them forward". Gouri added that the task is now more difficult than ever, since today there's less of an agreement on the course of action, but suggested to the volunteers to be confident in their mission and to set serious and clear goals in the field of education: "you're not many," he said, "but how many were in the 'Biluim'? How many were in the Dgania group? Small groups can change reality".