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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Chesed Mission 2018/5778: Day 2

The first stop of our jam packed schedule for the first full day of Chesed was Illanot School for Special Education. This school focuses specifically on helping students with Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities. We got to meet many children with different disabilities and hang out with them; we even heard the school’s choir perform, led by Cheryl Leiberman (HS '04) ! It was amazing to see the smiles on the children’s faces and how happy they were to receive our visit.
Our second stop of the day was Hadassah Medical Center, a hospital complex in Jerusalem that provides practically every possible medical service available in the world. We visited the childlren's ward where we distributed presents to ill children and their parents. Whether it was a stuffed animal or a coloring book, every child’s face lit up when they got a gift.
For our third stop of the day we visited the cemetery at Mount Herzl for fallen soldiers. It was inspiring to learn the stories of some young soldiers, not much older than ourselves, who lost their lives protecting the State of Israel.
For our fourth stop we visited Shalva National Children's Center, which provides high quality care for individuals with disabilities, empowering their families and promoting social inclusion. We got a tour of the amazing campus and had a chance to meet so many children and even have rikudim. We also got to hear the amazing story of how the founders created the organization because their son's disabilities. It was uplifting to hear about people who didn’t let disabilities bring their family down, but rather start an amazing organization because of them.
Our last stop of the day was Project Tikvot, which is a nonprofit volunteer based organization which rehabilitates Israel's victims of terror and injured soldiers through sport. Besides for hearing the creators of the organization speak, we got to hear from injured soldiers and how they used sports to improve both their mental and physical states. To end off the program students had the opportunity to do sports including rock climbing.
Today was an amazing first day that not only impacted our lives but also changed others. Can’t wait for tomorrow!
~Nancy Ades and Jessica Vaysman, Class of 2018