Monday, January 26, 2015

Kaveret Messima

My apologies for the delayed postings. Please check back later this week for more posts finishing off events from December, but for now let's catch up with the Workshoppers at messima!

What is messima? Messima means "mission" in Hebrew. In Habonim Dror, we view our volunteer projects as long term missions within Israeli society, working through education to create a just and equal Israeli society. Teaching English is the method we use to connect with Israeli youth and create a fun place for them to be, and to open a conversation about values, their life in Israel, and empowering them to shape Israeli society in the future. We work in partnerships with Hanoar Haoved v'Halomed, our sister movement in Israel, and with different municipalities. Today, we are active in Rehovot, Bat Yam, Yafo, Rishon Letzion, Acco, Haifa, Kfar Manda, Carmiel, Iblin, Deir Al Assad and Sachnin. Although there are some changes from year to year based on demographic changes within the messimot, our projects are ongoing, long-term relationships with the schools and organizations where we are active. The impact of the Workshoppers and other Habonim Dror chanichim that do messima in these places over the years is truly incredible, and today some of them rely on us to continue their activites. Each messima also has a melaveh (escort/guide) that runs weekly tzevet meetings where the Workshoppers can process their experience and sharpen their hadracha (leadership) skills. This is an important place for the Workshoppers to connect their experiences in Israel to their ideological questions, about Israel, being Jewish, and being a leader in Habonim Dror.

Tel Aviv Merkaz - Ari, Johanna, Nora and Rayna are working with chanichim that live in Central Tel Aviv. They work at schools in the morning, running fun, educational activities and teaching English. In the afternoon they are madrichim in the Hanoar Haoved veHalomed ken, leading their own group of chanichim and helping out other madrichim as well.

Tel Aviv Hadorban - Ilani, McKayla, Naomi and Shira are involved with kids from the South Tel Aviv neighborhood, typically from a lower economic backgrounds. South Tel Aviv is a mixed neighbourhood, and mnay of their chanichim are not Jewish and are children of refugees that fled to Israel. They are madrichim in the ken and work with the other madrichim to lead several different groups of chanichim.

Yafo - Isaiah, Erin, Maya, Tom, Ariana and Kaela are involved in educational projects in Yafo. In the mornings they work in the English projects and classes of an Arab middle school/high school in Yafo. After school, they split to two different locations. One group works in the nearby Hanoar Haoved veHalomed ken leading a group of mixed Arab-Israel and Jewish-Israeli chanichim. The other group goes to the Kiyum Meshutaf Ken to work with Arab-Israeli chanichim only, running an English program and other educational activities.

Havatzelet (Rehovot) - Netanya, Frenchie, Elana and Jack are working with chanichim from Chavatzelet, a neighborhood in Rehovot. They work with kids in schools in the morning, both in English classes and in other educational activities. In the afternoon they are madrichim at the Hanoar Haoved veHalomed ken, where they are responsible for a kvutzah of chanichim and help other madrichim with their chanichim as well.

BAMA in Rishon - Shosh, Cliel, Emilia, Jake and Mia are working in the city of Rishon Letzion itself. In the mornings they help kids in school with their English classes and homework. In the afternoon they are madrichim at the Bayit Lemadah v'Emdah (House of Science and Stance) in Rishon Letzion, an after-school program that offers younger kids a place learn and grow through experiential education and fun activities. The kids that attend this program are generally between the ages of 8 and 12, and come from a lower socio-economic background. The BAMA is part of a network of after-school centers supported by local municipalities that provide a safe, educational place for children to get a snack and help with their homework.

Bat Yam - Leah, Eli, Patty, Tali, and Ronnie are assisting in a school in Bat Yam, made up largely of children of Russian immigrants from a lower socioeconomic background. The Workshoppers come to the schools to bring educational activities and English programming to the students, and invite them to the afternoon activities in the ken. In the Hanoar Haoved ve'Halomed ken in the afternoon they lead with other madrichim and bring the kids interactive and fun activities, and help them form a social group of their own.

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