“Help Create The Changes That You Wish To See In The World.”

 

Two “Birthright” delegations, one from Phoenix and one from Tucson, came to visit the partnership. Each delegation was exposed to different aspects of our partnership. The group from Phoenix focused on “Young people in Kiryat Malachi As Leaders of  Change”.  42 young people from Phoenix met in the city park with 4 young adult groups that actively are leaders of change in the city. The first was the program “Acharai” or “follow me,” the second the Young Adult Group, the third the Israeli Scouts, and the fourth musicians from Art City and Volume Music Center. The Birthright group was divided into 4 smaller groups which traveled to four stations and heard the representatives of each group discuss how their programs are working to influence peers and make changes in the city. Alex Drattell, from Phoenix wrote about her experience:

“We stepped off the bus not knowing what to expect from this activity.  We surround the soldiers and young adults from Kiryat Malachi with eagerness to learn what they had to say. After a little explaining on what the soldiers objective and the young adults where, they decided to split us up into small groups. My group was with a Volume center group  who showed us the technic in drumming. We all sat in a circle trying to keep a beat however my group didn’t have very much rhythm. But working together as a group in listening to one another while keeping  a strong heartbeat, was what it really was about. After the drum circle we switched groups and was with the “Follow me” group. At this station we learned the meaning of team work. Very important lesson for young adults entering the army. This particular activity is used with young adults entering the army. This exercise taught our group the importance of listening to each other but also leadership and how some people need to take direction and some need to take charge. The third station was with Hila Kordana from Kiryat Malachi young adult group who had a large canvas with the word CHANGE, written in the middle. Hila wanted us to brain storm on what the word meant to us individually. Each of us wrote down our word and explained why. I wrote Peace because as every individual you need to set aside difference in order for change to happen. Our last exercise was with the Israeli scouts, who taught us team building games, Tzofim activities. We had wooden logs where a person would try and walk across while each of us rotated till that person walking across got to the other side. This was a funny but challenging game to complete. After all the activities we sat in a large circle exchanging thoughts on all the activities with the different groups from  Kiryat Malachi that had taught us so much. I really appreciate and have admiration for this whole experience which I’ll take with me forever”

Azahie Moore from the pre-army program “Aharai” for 16-18 year olds also wrote about his experience from the visit and the program: “Through the fact that we know, we need change, we try to prove to the group from Phoenix  that it’s possible, trough small activities, and at the end of every activity we discuss the value, and principals that are hiding in the activity itself, that one of the ways to show them that everything is possible if you just believe

The Tucson Birthright program focused on the topic: “Talking Peace”. 40 young adults from Tucson met with Roni Keidar from Moshav Netiv Ha’asara and heard her interesting story about her life, about peace and about her humanitarian work for the Palestinians. Then, the group took part in the “Path to Peace” project, adding mosaic pieces to the big “Shalom” sign on the border wall separating Gaza and Netiv Ha’asara. To read more about this project please click here:  http://www.tsameret.net/

Elyse Adams from Tucson wrote about her experience in the partnership region:

I am so happy and fortunate to have had the opportunity to get to visit our partnership region on my Birthright trip. The community is absolutely beautiful and I can only say the same about the people that live there. From the moment my friends and I got off the bus, we were embraced with such a warm welcoming and a feeling of comfort. I loved seeing the beautiful mural “Path to Peace” that has been started. Being able to add onto the mural with pieces we got to select made me feel like I was contributing to the beautification of not only the wall, even if on the outside it only looks like a wall, but of a community and it’s moral. Tzamert Zamir the woman who created this and her story meant even more to me. She told us a story about her children and a school bus that I will always remember and could not imagine living this reality. I admire her courage and bravery that I know that everyone in the community has. Thank you so much for sharing all of the beauty of the community and of Israel; I know our “family” had an amazing, unforgettable experience”

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