Report on Yad L’Ami Projects, May 2017

May 20, 2017

We accompanied Ria on visits to the Yad L’Ami projects during the week of May 8-11. I, Menso, have been a member of the Yad L’Ami board since the summer of 2016. I wanted to visit the projects and to see them first-hand, and to meet the various contact people.

On Monday, May 8, we had a busy schedule: we went to the South, to Sderot, near the Gaza strip, and on to Kibbutz Sa’ad, about 15 kms south of Sderot. The car ride through the beautiful and fruitful scenery of Judea was fantastic. When we drove into Sderot, the city made a strong impression on us: alongside every bus shelter is also positioned an air-raid shelter, a box of a similar size to the bus shelter but constructed of thick reinforced concrete. We talked to Michal, a social worker in Sderot; poverty relief and trauma treatment are the main needs experienced here.

At Kibbutz Sa’ad, we talked to director Yechezkel, a friendly man who is passionate about his work and his children. All the schoolchildren are observed carefully and help is offered as soon as a problem is discerned. Yad L’Ami helps to address the problems, mostly trauma due to the rocket bombardment, by financing therapies. Then we talked to the director of the girls’ home and the couple who run the family group home, also on the grounds of the kibbutz. They work closely with the kibbutz management: all the girls from the girls’ home and children from the children’s home have a host family on the kibbutz, where they spend one evening each week in order to experience family life. Yad L’Ami supports by providing extra play material and financing family outings, learning resources, and therapies, which aid in the functioning of both homes.

 On Tuesday, May 9, we visited Café L’Ami in Jerusalem. We saw how the café functions: youngsters and elderly people converge on the place. An elderly lady experiencing computer problems was receiving help from a 16-year-old boy. Then we visited the social service offices in Jerusalem, where we spoke with Tehila.

On Thursday, May 11, we visited a Russian couple who survived the Holocaust and have lived in Israel since 1992. They made us very welcome and told us their dramatic life story. In the afternoon, we visited an absorption center for new immigrants. The contact people we met are passionate people who are driven to help others. It is a privilege for Yad L’Ami to work with these people in order to be a helping hand to the Jewish people.

Menso and Coby Hendriks