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Sawyer.

This blog post was written by Kyle Kun, a Yahel Social Change Fellow living and working in Rishon LeZion.


A photo of the Western Wall with prayer notes in the cracks
This is where I placed a prayer for my nephew at the Western Wall.

I struggled to find the right words as I pondered what to write. Numerous thoughts raced through in my mind as I weighed different ideas. However, I ultimately decided to delve deeper into the reasons behind my journey to Israel. Grief is an intensely personal and challenging experience, one that can profoundly impact our lives. When my nephew passed away last year, I found myself at a crossroads, grappling with overwhelming emotions. Even after reconnecting with my family, I still felt an immense sense of loneliness, as if I had to face my grief alone. In the depths of this profound loss, I chose to embark on a journey of self-discovery and explore my Jewish identity.


My aim was twofold: to engage in meaningful volunteer work abroad, particularly in a vibrant and spiritually rich country like Israel, and to immerse myself in the Jewish experience while utilizing my skills to help others.


Discussing the grieving process and mourning the loss of my nephew has been a personal challenge for me. I have only shared my feelings with a select few individuals, as it has been something I've kept bottled up inside me. This grief has simultaneously fueled and consumed me. However, my volunteer work here has played a crucial role in transforming my sorrow into something purposeful and productive. In Ramat Eliyahu, a community in Rishon Lezion, I have been assisting schools and the senior center by conducting English classes and providing technical support. Through these interactions, I have gradually started to open up and form meaningful connections with people. Though I haven't reached a point where I can fully express my emotions, I continue to push forward, channeling my energy into hard work every day, driven by a desire to make my nephew proud.






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