I’m currently a sophomore at NYU, but my heart remains in Pardes Hana at Neve Michael Children’s home.

These past two summer (and this upcoming third summer) I have worked for Kol HaNearim. Kol HaNearim is responsible for bringing rising Jewish high school seniors to volunteer in children’s homes in Israel. For the past two years, I was grateful for the opportunity to work at the children’s home and coordinate the American program.

Thanks to my involvement with Neve Michael over the years, I have experienced the home at times both with and without volunteers, and the difference is immense. We as volunteers bring so much light and happiness into the lives of these children. We have the opportunity to run a summer camp for the children, to show them what it’s like to have a fun “American” summer. My life has personally changed from seeing the Americans go from receivers to givers. The children have so much to teach us, and it’s a summer filled with pure happiness.

My job includes recruiting American volunteers and overseeing all of the American needs while we are in Israel. The job doesn’t just end there, however, because chesed is a full time job! Kol HaNearim is focused on building relationships around chesed and that has truly changed my life. It is the perfect mixture of chssed, responsibility, fun and fulfillment.

Shira Ben-David (’14) has volunteered at Neve Michael since she was a student at ICJA. ICJA students who are interested in getting more information about volunteering this summer in Neve Michael should email Shira Ben-David.