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Girls Get to Know the Ropes

Having a break ... the interns in the park.   Photos: Alma Machness-Kass

"My sister Gabrielle came to Reuth five summers ago with the first group of interns, and she's been telling me ever since that the summer at Reuth changed her life," says high school senior Ayelet Segal of New York, who arrived at Reuth Rehab Center at the beginning of July 2015, with eight other girls from New York, New Jersey and Boston. "Now I'm beginning to see what she meant."

Reuth's inspiring internship is a unique summer program, enabling motivated young girls from the U.S. to spend three weeks in Israel, while volunteering at Reuth Rehabilitation Hospital*.

"Living like real Israelis," as one girl put it, the interns get a taste of Israeli cities and sites, and also learn a great deal by assisting the hospital's medical and healthcare teams.

Quickly absorbing the spirit of the Reuth, the interns visited the different wards, helped the patients and assisted the staff.

Everywhere they went, they brought with them youthful energies, a caring heart and bright, encouraging smiles.

Nomi Rabhan, for one, spent much of her time at the Children's Department. "Everyone said it would be difficult, and it was – seeing small children who are so very sick," said this highly motivated young New Yorker. "But then I stopped seeing them as an illness, and began to see them for what they really are: children. Human beings with a soul.

"My mission was to make these kids smile. I did everything I could to bond with them, I played with them, took them outside for walks in the sun. I felt that this amazing experience changed me as a person."

Sarah, a future pre-med student, spent her first week in physiotherapy. 

Hand in hand ... one of the interns takes care of a baby

"I saw how crucial medical decisions are made, and then implemented in the physiotherapy facility," she related enthusiastically.

"The staff is so absolutely professional and they know so much! I was deeply impressed."

For Ayelet, the best part of the day was breakfast. "I helped to feed Shlomi, a patient who can't care for himself," she explained.

"He can't talk, but when I came in he smiled and raised his hands, so I knew he was glad to see me. I really felt a connection to him."

The rest of her day was spent at Occupational Therapy, where she interacted with patients and learned about their personally tailored treatments.

Golda Pinals of Boston loved Reuth's Therapeutic Garden. "It's so peaceful up there, you forget you're in a hospital," she smiled.

"I helped patients with their gardening and artwork, and in particular I made friends with one young woman – we found out that we like the same films and music. It was a very special and fulfilling experience for me."

"The interns were wonderful with the patients," affirmed Maital Stern, a physician assistant, who made aliyah from New York, and accompanied the group at Reuth throughout their stay.

"They brought so much soul and good will to their tasks, bonding with people who are very ill, talking with families and learning a great deal by shadowing the professional teams.

"It was a great group, and I'm sure they took many formative memories with them, and will remain a part of the Reuth Family for many years to come."

*Reuth Rehabilitation Hospital is one of Israel's leading institutions in the fields of rehabilitation and long-term care. With 350 beds, the Center is the largest of its kind in the Tel Aviv area, offering up-to-the-minute multidisciplinary treatment to thousands of Israelis every year.

Patients include victims of terror attacks and traffic accidents, wounded IDF soldiers and people disabled by a range of illnesses, from infancy to old age. Renowned for its unique spirit of care and compassion, Reuth Rehabilitation Hospital is also a university-affiliated institution, conducting advanced research and providing practical training in all healthcare professions. English website:, Hebrew website: 



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Sunday, 16 June 2024

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