Hi all! Today was our first day back to volunteering after a Shabbat weekend filled with lots of food and relaxing by the beach.
This morning we went to a secondhand store located next to a school and helped organize the clothing. Then we had our first shawarma and falafel of the trip at a food stand called Nobi. We also made our first mistake of feeding shawarma to a stray cat, who then became best friends with us. Afterwards, we had a meeting with Meir Bouhnik, the director of the Ashkelon volunteer center. He told us of the different volunteer programs and projects created to help teens return to life after their army service. Then, we had a short meeting with Shlomo Cohen, the deputy mayor of Ashkelon, and discussed our reasons for returning. Lastly, we volunteered at Beit Canada, an Ethiopian absorption center. We played soccer and made bracelets with the kids – easily our favorite part of the trip thus far.
This day was a perfect start to the program because it perfectly emphasized one of the most important parts of the partnership: our relationship with Ashkelon youth. It is up to the younger generations to keep our partnership strong, just like it is our responsibility to keep in contact with the teens of Ashkelon and continue to serve in any way we can.