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Yahel Alumni

Harris Engelman Yahel Social Change Program 2013-14

During his time on the Social Change Program in Gedera (2013-2014), Harris Engelman’s engagement with the complexities of Israeli society developed in him a sense of responsibility to work against injustice. As the current Director of Resource Development at Shacharit, an Israeli “think/do tank” that strives to create a common vision for Israel society across all sectors of the Israeli public, Harris continues to grapple with pressing issues in various communities across the country. After intense exposure to different collegiate conversations about Israel while at WashU St. Louis, Harris wanted to confront his confusion and unsettledness head-on after graduation. "The more I learned about Israel, the more questions I had”. He chose to join the Yahel Social Change Program, where the opportunity to work directly with Israelis and authentic change-work in Gedera offered him the chance to explore his questions in person. 

"The more I learned about Israel, the more questions I had.”

After spending nine months in Gedera contributing to the fundraising efforts of Friends by Nature, working in a community garden, and tutoring English through a neighborhood initiative, Harris decided to stay in Israel to continue his work towards a more just Israeli society. The opportunity to pursue and maintain real relationships with Israelis of all backgrounds offered a professional and personal opportunity that no D.C. think tank could match, leading him to his current position. Ultimately, Yahel gave Harris the lens through which to view Israel and all of its complexities differently than he ever had before.

"More than allowing me to see or experience Israel, Yahel gave me the tools and the opportunity to participate in building a better Israel. Thanks to Yahel, I got the tools to help shape the Israel and the world that I believe in."

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