Participants on Dror Israel’s youth movement gap year look for new ways to make a positive impact, providing hundreds of Israeli families with basic supplies for the holidays
With coronavirus cases rising steeply in Israel, the entire country has been sent back in to lockdown. Those more fortunate citizens are left to decide between risking infection by continuing to work or the financial distress of staying home. Many people, however, are left without the choice, as workplaces throughout the country are shuttered to slow the spread of the disease. All this, during Israel’s holiday season.
Despite having started their gap year program only a few weeks ago (year of civil service before enlisting in the IDF), members of Dror Israel’s youth movement looked at the dire situation around the country and decided to step up. With schools closed and most youth movement activity moved online, our gap year participants wanted to find new ways to make a positive impact. Many participants teamed up with various non-profits and municipalities across the country to distribute food and medicine to those who need it. This was especially important in the lead up to the major Jewish high holy days.
Keshet Zeevi, a participant in Haifa says “We packed crates that will eventually reach families who lack basic products: challah, mustard, fruits and vegetables – basically things that are essential for Friday nights, holidays, Yom Kippur… I came to do a year of volunteering – a year of giving, helping those in need, so I gave what I could give. Despite the risk and the fear of the disease, I chose to come help. To get up early in the morning, pack packages, and by nighttime I knew we had helped 190 families... There is nothing more satisfying than that.”
Our amazing volunteers are lending a hand across the country. Amir Feinstein, another participant tells us “Some friends from my group and I volunteered to distribute packages of food in Ashdod with the municipality. It was important for me to volunteer because the lockdown created a huge economic crisis leaving many people in the country struggling to make ends meet. My responsibility as a citizen and as a movement is to help anyone in need and bring light to those who need it.”
We are very proud of our gap year participants. All of their activity is done with masks and in compliance with the directives from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. The volunteering projects are planned to continue for as long as the lockdown continues.