My husband and I have for many years, been ardent supporters of Israel and Keren Hayesod – United Israel Appeal. As such, I have been privileged to do work for the organisation in Perth in a voluntary capacity.
I was very honoured to have been selected to attend the International Year of The Volunteer mission in Israel from 18-22 June 2012 together with 26 other participants from around the world. We shared a wonderful week of doing what we all do best – sharing a common love and commitment to Israel and the Jewish people!
Irit Barash, Sharon Friedman and Dalia Shimoni at the mission’s opening.
During this 5 day event, we were honoured to hear president Shimon Peres at the Yakir awards ceremony and Tony Blair and Henry Kissinger at the Israel World Presidents’ Conference. We were also privileged to meet with Keren Hayesod’s leaders: Greg Masel, Moody Sandberg, Yohanna Arbib-Perugia and Irit Barash.
We met with Brigadier General Dr Daniel Gold, one of the creators of the iron dome system which intercepts rockets fired at Israeli civilians, we listened to Major General Aharon Farkash, former head of Israeli military intelligence, visited the IDF naval base, toured the Knesset, met with Uzi Landau, Minister of Energy and Water Resources and attended a morning seminar at the KHD offices where we participated in discussions about the youth futures project in Jerusalem and met with Keren Hayesod regional directors.
Major General Amos Horev was a Palmach commander who was instrumental in creating the ‘Burma Road’ – his story was inspirational. We visited the Kiryat Gat Absorption Centre and helped finalise the renovations to their kitchen for which we were honoured by having a plaque erected in honour of the international volunteers.
At KH-UIA Annual World conference
We visited Elbit systems in Netanya, toured the independence hall and finally attended the closing dinner of the Keren Hayesod annual world conference where tributes and awards were acknowledged and given to the KH-UIA volunteers and key workers.
It was an honour to be amongst like-minded people and to share and understand how other volunteers from diverse parts of the world work in their countries. They are totally dedicated to being focussed on helping Israel I felt very humbled, although very honoured at receiving recognition for something that I do because I choose to do it. I believe that the recognition
is not only for me but for the wonderful people in Perth who so willingly support Israel and make my role an easier one.
Volunteers’ tribute event
I would like to acknowledge Danny Breckler, Dorit Maor, Ofer Simchony and the UIA executive for offering me the opportunity to share this wonderful week with volunteers from all over the world – it only validates what we know we have to continue doing. The ‘power’ of giving as a KH‑UIA volunteer makes me feel worthwhile as a Jew and what more could one wish for than to make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate than we are. I do what needs to be done. The passion and commitment comes from the heart. I feel that I am able to contribute in a positive way to the people, the organisation and the community and it is a wonderful feeling to contribute to the bigger picture!!
Click to view KH International Volunteers Mission pictures gallery