Community Service – January 26 by M. Bercov

‘Thoughts on Community Service ” by Marcia Bercov 
During CAARI’s stay in Tel Aviv, people in the group volunteer in  variety of jobs and places.
Some work in a rehab or active treatment hospital, while most go to elementary schools to help students with their English skills.  The schools vary from religious to more secular, but most are located in more economically disadvantaged areas of the city.
Having volunteered in a three different schools over the years, I can say that the kids are lots of fun to meet, and all of them have interesting stories to tell about themselves.  Some come from immigrant families, some native Israelis, they have sisters and brothers, dogs or cats, take music lessons or play on sports teams, and most of them like pizza! 
About three years ago, the Community Service program expanded to include the Tel Aviv Botanical Garden, on  the campus of Tel Aviv University, which was my choice last year and this one.  Three or four members of our group take a cab to the Garden on Community Service mornings, and return in time for lunch. 

The cab ride is an experience in itself!  Israeli roads are narrower, some times a single lane on a major route, and the cars mostly compact in size.  But the drivers want to get to their destination fast, so they dodge in and out, being careful to respect the ever present city buses.  Then there are the motorcycles to add to the mix.  Our drivers have amazingly quick reflexes. 

Once at the Garden, the volunteers meet the staff at the Seed Room.  The Curator, Tal, usually organizes our activities for the morning, often with some time in the Seed Room to start.

The Canadian American Active Retirees in Israel, CAARI, offers active seniors a unique opportunity to experience Israel. The program is designed to explore the biblical landscapes, follow the footsteps of the early pioneers, and envision the future of our Homeland. The CAARI Program includes community service, toursa speakers forum and the camaraderie of the CAARI Family. The Program is designed for to feel, touch, hear and see Israel from the mountains to the desert, from sea to sea, and from ancient to modern.

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