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Forging a Strong Bond

Above and below: Karmiel students busy painting on Volunteer Day. Photos: Rory Frankel and Brian Fink

Karmiel is one of the areas in the Galilee where a student village has been established by the Ayalim Association. ESRA Karmiel Branch arranged a visit for members and supporters in June 2015 when we were shown around by the charming young couple, Roiy and Miri Frenkel, who manage the settlement and we heard about their Students Build-a-Community program. 

Ayalim was founded in 2002 to revive and renew the Zionist ideal in the Negev and Galilee. Their aim is to foster the connection between the population of these areas and the land and also between individuals and Israeli society in general by establishing student and entrepreneur villages.

Locally, this involves students at Karmiel's ORT Braude College receiving subsidized accommodation and educational scholarships in return for 500 hours of community work. This can involve working with underprivileged or underperforming children and also doing physical repairs or decorations on run-down properties for people who are unable to pay for essential work themselves.

Recently the Karmiel Ayalim village arranged a region-wide, day-long event whereby some 150 students from Ayalim villages all over Northern Israel descended on the city for a Students' Volunteer Day. Their objective was to decorate local properties in need of a spruce-up but whose owners couldn't afford professional tradesmen.

Using funds accumulated from our recent meetings, including our successful Valentine's Table Quiz, ESRA Karmiel Branch offered to sponsor this event and T-shirts were printed for all the students sporting the Ayalim logo together with the ESRA logo.

Our committee was invited to meet the students at the village in the early evening where thanks and speeches were exchanged. The day ended with a beer festival co-sponsored by the Municipality, Government Agencies for Galilee Development, Ayalim, and several local businesses and boutique breweries.* 

Ayalim group with members of ESRA Karmiel committee

This was truly ESRA in the community, encouraging and helping these fine young people who were volunteering their services to improve people's lives in a very practical way. In short, making a difference, which is something that ESRA does very well!

*Check out this local brewery producing gluten-free beer based on chickpeas 



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Sunday, 16 June 2024

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