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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Chesed Mission 2010/5780: Day 2

After a delicious breakfast, we kick started our first full day of Chesed at Meshi, a center for children with disabilities. We split up into rooms and were able to have one on one time to connect with a child. We participated in many different activities with the children. Immediately after walking into the room, we felt the energy and happiness of the children and teachers. Everyone was so excited that we came all the way from America. After creating a bond with the children, it was difficult to say goodbye.
We then distributed toys to sick patients at the Hadassah Hospital. We tried to uplift the families in the hospital with small acts of kindness.  Next, we visited the cemetery of many heroes and soldiers of our homeland at Har Herzel. There, we also gathered to hear some more about the heroism of two soldiers: Yonatan Netanyahu and Dvir Emanueloff. We heard the personal story from one of our tour guides as well as an injured soldier from Tikvot. We ended by saying a perek of Tehillim and then united by singing “Acheinu” with hope for our brothers in the army and pride in our nation.
We then continued our day with rikkudim at Shalva, an organization which supports families and children with disabilities. The site was huge and filled with an abundance of volunteers and children who were smiling from ear to ear. We learned about the background of how Shalva started. Kalman Samuels, the man who started Shalva, had a child who became blind, deaf, and mute. After his child learned to communicate, the Kalman's dedicated time to help children in a similar situation. He used a hardship to grow instead of an excuse which was an inspiration to us all. We were in awe to see what one man could do to the world. We ended off our second day in Israel by rock climbing with Tikvot.
~Vivian Cohen, Class of 2021