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Accomplishing Something in 3 Short Weeks

Updated: Apr 3

Recently, I spent three weeks in Jerusalem living, learning and volunteering. I spent the mornings studying Talmud at the Conservative Yeshiva.  Three afternoons a week I worked on helping plan a fundraising exhibition with Shutaf, an organization with a mission to . The other two I spent working at Mercaz KLASS, helping a teenager with her conversational English skills.

Three weeks… Such a short time.

Do I really think I accomplished anything of substance in that brief period?

I like to think so. I had the opportunity to work  with Shutaf, whose mission is to provide informal-education programs for children and teens with special needs in an inclusive model that welcomes all children, with and without disabilities.

I strongly believe in Shutaf’s mission, and worked with the Shutaf staff to establish the basic planning structure for a fundraiser next Spring.  This experience gave me a strong sense of helping to sustain a vitally important organization.

With my Ethiopian student I helped with English grammar and sentence structure. But more than that, I think I gave her a perspective on another country and culture that she might not otherwise have had. And I gave her the gift of friendship, and in return, she gave me hers – and a view into the world of immigrants in Israel.

Would I have felt I could have accomplished more with more time? Of course!

But with the time I did have, I did achieve a lot. As the singer David Broza so aptly puts it, ‘This is better than nothing.’ I think it’s far better!

Kate Jennes Kahn Rockville, MD Volunteer & Study 2014

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