Lod is a mixed Jewish-Arab city, about 15 km Southeast of Tel Aviv. In its diversity, Lod is a microcosm of Israel. While it has many challenges it has also seen a remarkable surge of activism over the last few years which is starting to create real change in the city. Since 2012 a large number of Israeli students and young adults have moved to Lod and are contributing to the development of the city in a variety of ways. There is real need in Lod and there are also social change initiatives which are a great platform for a Yahel program.
SAMPLE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENTS IN LOD
The Abraham Fund
The Abraham Fund Initiatives is a non-profit organization that aims to promote equality for Arab citizens in Israel. Their projects focus primarily on education for a shared society, leadership development, community-police relations, and minority mainstreaming in the media. Yahel volunteers work in social media, marketing, research, resource development, grant writing. and donor relations.
"Hatachana" - Lod Young Adult Center
The new young adult center in Lod is a hub for young people aimed at providing tools, connecting and serving the young population of Lod. The center offers vocational training and career counseling, engages young adults in social action in Lod, organizes cultural and social events, assists young parents, provides guidance and courses for college, and more.
Volunteer Placements at Schools
The Yahel Social Change Program works closely with various schools in Lod. Yahel participants volunteering at schools assist students with their work during English classes. The work usually takes place with small groups of students outside the classroom, using content material assigned by the teachers. Volunteers are also encouraged to initiate an annual project related to the work they are doing with the students throughout the year. Sample placements in 2019-2020 may include:
El-Razi – Arab elementary school
Tomashin- Arab middle and high school
Atid- Arab high school
Rambam- Religious Jewish elementary school
Matnas Chicago is a community center located in Ramat Eshkol – one of the most socially challenging neighborhoods in Lod and home largely to members of the Arab and Ethiopian communities. The Matnas, which was closed for many years due to financial difficulties and municipal corruption, reopened several years ago and now caters to the Arab and Ethiopian populations in the neighborhood. Yahel volunteers will assist Matnas staff facilitating various chugim (recreational activities) such as: carpentry, soccer, English, computers, and more.
Machshava Tova provides enhanced technological access and training to underserved populations. Each Machshava Tova Center is operated by a devoted team of professionals, who ensure the compatibility of the programs with each group's individual needs and accompany the participants in their journey to success. Machshava Tova offers basic and advanced training including hands-on experience for children, youth-at-risk, the unemployed, new immigrants, the elderly, minorities, the ultra-Orthodox community and disabled populations. Yahel volunteers will have the opportunity to assist in technology and computer training courses for youth and adults in Lod.
Potchim Atid (Opening a Future) is a nationwide program aimed to support children and families living in the social and geographical periphery in Israel. The vision of the program is to provide children and their families with confidence, skills and equal opportunities to grow and realize their own unique potential. The program empowers the children in the personal, family, learning and social realms incorporating many available community resources and encouraging family involvement. Yahel volunteers placed at Potchim Atid will have the opportunity to facilitate group activities for children together with Israeli staff, focusing on life skill building activities.
Olim Beyahad works toward the full integration of Ethiopian Israelis into mainstream Israeli Society through strategic programs and partnerships. Olim Beyahad’s programming focuses on employment empowerment, alumni advancement, and youth and young adult support to fulfil educational potential. . Yahel volunteers at Olim Beyahad assist with resource development, fundraising, grant research, grant writing and social media
Dor Ledor promotes social change and awareness regarding the status and wellbeing of the Elderly in Israeli Society. Dor Ledor hopes to create a reality in which no single elder citizen in Israel remains lonely. The organization offers programs that rebuild relationships and trust between generations. Yahel volunteers will have the opportunity to meet regularly with elderly residents in Lod, providing company and support as needed.
Tech-Career is an Israeli NGO established by and for Ethiopian-Israelis to open the door to technological careers for young Ethiopian Israelis. Tech-Career’s vision is to serve as a springboard for young Ethiopian-Israelis to gain the knowledge and skills to pursue promising and sustainable careers in fields in high demand in Israel’s high-tech industries. Their programs include: workshops in “soft” business skills, mentorships and group and individual guidance to prepare students for employment in the dynamic culture of Israel’s leading high-tech firms. Yahel volunteers will assist with English training for Tech-Career Fellows, as well as assisting the Tech-Career resource development team.
Fidel ("alphabet" in Amharic) supports the educational and social integration of Ethiopian Jews in Israel. Established by Ethiopian and native Israelis 20 years ago in order to provide a solution for education and integration challenges, Fidel's current programs operate throughout the country and offer youth and adults the necessary means to integrate into and succeed in Israeli society. Fidel runs youth centers, parents' groups and young leadership groups, provides educational and social mediators in schools, and offers an educational initiative for raising literacy and community development in public schools. Yahel volunteers will assist Fidel with the youth centers and various aspects of their non-profit work.