Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pictures from the Gan (Pre-K) on 17 Chen Street in Arad, Israel

Babo, age 2.5 and volunteer Sean Macdonald, age 18

Nyantuk, age 3 and volunteer Noah Berman, age 18

Abova, "The old lady" and day care volunteer

Cookie, age 4

Amani and Nyantuk, age 3


GARIN TZEDEK is an unofficial group of participants in Young Judaea's Yearcourse program in which students spend ten months volunteering and studying in Israel dedicated to enhancing their experience throughout the year by dedicating themselves to committing cognitively and physically to volunteering around the country with refugees from Southern and Western Sudan (Darfur). We hope that by being ever aware of how we can best contribute to the country and the cause of these refugees we will make a real difference for the better in the country and in our own lives.

Dan Dennet says that the key to happiness is finding something more important than oneself and dedicating oneself to it. This is our chance to do so. Far too many participants of our program and people in general are willing to float through opportunities taking the path of least resistance, however we wish to consciously do what might be slightly harder, but certainly more rewarding. We hope to improve the self-sufficiency of the South Sudanese and Darfurian communities in Israel and to bring awareness to the entire Jewish world of their existence to begin a vigorous debate of the role of the Jewish People and the Jewish State in their rescue from genocide.

The issue of Darfurian and Sudanese refugees in Israel, a highly controversial one, is what we are focusing on during our year in Israel, but we hope that our members continue to take the lessons and experiences we gain this year and apply them for the rest of our lives whether in Israel, the United States or elsewhere.