Yahel | Newsletter (Turn images on - it looks a whole lot better that way)
Yahel - Israel Service Learning | A New Year 
The Hebrew month of Elul is a time for reflection. It is an opportunity to not only give sensitive thought to the past year, but also a chance to look forward to the year to come. I feel blessed to be able to reflect back on our first year of Yahel with a humble smile, thinking about all of the tremendous achievements and magical moments that made this year so remarkable.
In our first year we had close to 40 participants – contributing, learning and experiencing Israel through the wide lens of social change. Together with our partner, Friends by Nature, we have shown that real, meaningful and effective service learning is possible here in Israel. This year was about building foundations, creating connections and transforming a vision into reality. In this process I have been inspired by so many people: activists and change-makers who shared their efforts to bring about social change, community members who shared their stories and homes with genuine kindness, dedicated staff who poured their souls into their work and a cohort of young adults with a true passion for Tikkun Olam.
As we start our second year, I want to wish all our friends, partners, alumni and current participants a joyous and meaningful new year. We invite you to join us in tending to the seeds we have started to plant and look forward to sharing the fruits with you this coming year.

- Dana Talmi, Director of Yahel 

Successful Teen Summer Program | Camp Tawonga
This past summer, we partnered with Camp Tawonga, a Jewish summer camp based in beautiful Yosemite, California.  We began working together in the Fall of 2010 to plan a unique program under Tawonga's Teen Service Learning (TSL) program.  This trip provided the participants an opportunity to build relationships with Ethiopian Israeli teens and engage with community-based empowerment work.  All of the participants, staff and community members felt this trip was extremely successful - so much so that we are already planning our program together for next summer! 

There's nothing that tells the story of success better than hearing it from the staff and participants themselves: 

"Working with Yahel was an amazing and richly rewarding experience.  The care with which Yahel cultivates their relationships and works with program partners is exemplary. From the well-organized itinerary to the wonderful educators and staff to the flexibility it was a top-notch experience.  We feel proud to have them as a partner in this work."  - Camp Tawonga Teen Program Coordinator 

“This trip helped me to experience Israel in a way that I will never be able to recreate.  It caused me to think in ways that I have never thought before and made me feel like I really had an impact on the community.  I know that not only have I left my mark on Israel, but it’s left its mark on me.” - Program Participant 

New Kids on the Block | Social Change Program, Fall 2011
The first weekend of September we welcomed our new program participants for the Yahel Social Change Program, our 5-month service-learning program based in the town of Gedera.  After a wonderful orientation filled with learning about the community, Friends by Nature programming, Ethiopian cuisine and group bonding, the participants have enthusiastically jumped into their volunteer work.  For their individual placements, participants Sarah and Max will be working at the Ohel Shalom religious primary school, Jenna and Justin at the Gedera high school, Lisa at Friends by Nature's home office and Jesse in the community garden program. The group has been volunteering regularly at the community garden and gradually starting to volunteer in various Friends by Nature activities such as the "Homework at Home" tutoring program. We're looking forward to all that is to come!

In the coming weeks, we'll be launching a new participant-written component to the Yahel blog. Check it out here for weekly entries.  

"I Found Love" | Reflection piece by past participant 
Several weeks ago, I walked leisurely down Shapira Street, taking in the neighborhood that I had spent a year volunteering with—the neighborhood that in three weeks I would leave. I was a participant on the Yahel Social Change Program, a program that works in collaboration with a grassroots NGO that does community empowerment with the Ethiopian Israeli community in Gedera, Israel. The majority of our initiatives centered in Shapira, one long street containing 22 housing projects and approximately 1300 Ethiopian Israelis.

As I walked home, I stopped at the big parking lot where the neighborhood kids always played. I put down my things and started kicking a ball with the kids. I realized I knew all of their names. Then a crowd of older boys came and took over the game. All of them were youth center regulars who sat down to talk and say hi. Half an hour later, the woman to whom I taught English drove by in her car, honking her horn. Noya, her four-year-old-toddler, rolled down the window and squealed my name at the top of her lungs.... continue here

Apply Now! 

We are recruiting for the 
Yahel Social Change Program,
Spring 2012. Please help us spread the word about the program by forwarding this newsletter!

Program dates:
Feb. 5, 2012 - July 6, 2012

For more information:
email: info@yahelisrael.com
phone: 919.416.3333

Welcome aboard...

 Inbal Samin as Yahel Social Change Program's Group Facilitator. 

Rachel Zieleniec as Yahel's Digital Media and Recruitment Associate. 

Read more about Inbal and Rachel here.

Short programs

Did you know that Yahel also runs short-term service learning programs such as college Alternative Break trips and congregational programs? 

For more information or to learn how to partner with Yahel for short-term program opportunities, click here.

Yahel's coming your way! 

Yahel is heading to DC Oct. 2 - Oct. 5 and then to NYC from Oct. 5 - Oct. 7 to recruit for our Spring 2012 Yahel Social Change Program.  Know great 20 somethings who want to do amazing work in Israel? Connect with us so we can meet them during our trip!  

We have a Yahel Happy Hour / Meet & Greet happening in DC on Mon., Oct. 3. Check out the details here.    

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Proud grantee of:


A Masa Program

The Yahel Social Change Program is a Masa Israel Journey approved program. Grants of up to $4,500 available.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 1692
Zichron Yaakov, 3093816

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