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Shalva Ambassadors 2017 18 HUMANS OF HUMANS OF SHALVA

SHALVA

2017-2018/5778 2017-2018/5778


LETTER FROM KALMAN Dear Shalva Ambassadors, Thank you very much for choosing to spend your time volunteering at Shalva. I am deeply touched by your sensitivity toward our children and your dedicated work. Our programming enriches the lives of thousands of children with disabilities and supports their family members. Your valued contribution has enabled us to continue providing these life-changing programs, inspiring hope and creating a more inclusive Israeli society. You became part of the Shalva Family during a very auspicious time in Shalva history, a time of growth, having moved into our new home, the Shalva National Center, making Jerusalem the host city of the largest and most advanced center for disability care in Israel. This is an exciting chapter in Shalva’s ongoing legacy of spreading love, hope, and human dignity. I warmly invite you and your family to visit Shalva when you are in Jerusalem and take pride in the fruits of your dedicated work and partnership. With heartfelt gratitude,

Kalman Samuels Founder, Shalva


LETTER FROM SAMMY To Shalva's fantastic volunteers, I am so appreciative for everything you have done for Shalva this year. As you all know more than anyone, Shalva is an incredible place. The love, warmth, and happiness that permeates through the halls is something that takes over a person having even the most difficult of days. What is it that makes Shalva so special? The kids of course are amazing. The building is stunning. There's very often free food or swag. The challah on Thursdays always smells great. The underwater music in the pool is just plain mind blowing. But for me those all come second. For me what makes this place more inspiring, more uplifting, and more magical than anywhere else are the "Humans of Shalva" in this book. Now I know what you're all thinking, "Ya ya, that's all sweet and everything but you HAVE to say that." Well with all due respect, it couldn't be more true. This year I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of yeshiva and seminary students from all over the world. There are people who “do chessed” and there are those that “embody chessed”. The difference is that anyone can “do” a good deed, it takes a really special person to “be” a person of chessed and spread joy to others by just being around. The genuine love and the way that you guys give of yourselves every week in order to see others smile and succeed is nothing short of inspiring. The passion that you have for Shalva and its mission is what makes Shalva the special place it is. You guys have impacted me, the Shalva kids and their families, and the organization as a whole; you have also impacted the world. “Amor me’at v’aseh harbeh” is definitely the way that you have lived by through teaching and inspiring everyone who meets you to not just “do” the right thing, but “BE” the right thing. Keep on doing the little things and give your all to everything you do. Yes, the ball pit is a blast, and yes, who doesn't like walking around with a cool key card, but its people like you that make Shalva the magical place of inspiring hope and changing lives. With much gratitude and admiration,

Sammy Schaechter Director of Overseas Volunteers & Programming


ABOUT SHALVA Shalva, The Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, is dedicated to providing transformative care for individuals with disabilities, empowering their families and promoting social inclusion. Non-denominational and free of charge, Shalva’s programs provide an allencompassing range of services for thousands of individuals from infancy to adulthood. Additionally, Shalva supports and enables families to raise their children with disabilities within the family framework. Through nearly three decades of award-winning programs, Shalva partners with various institutions in advocacy efforts to create a more inclusive society. The Shalva National Center's advanced programs and facilities create new frontiers in disability rehabilitation, research, and inclusion; defining new standards in the field and impacting the world beyond those in Shalva's direct care.


JERUSALEM MARATHON'S

Team Shalva

Fr i da y , Marc h 15 t h 20 19

Marathons, not only for runners. Also for awesome people wanting to change the world. Join Team Shalva: marathon@shalva.org | www.run4shalva.org

Run. Jog. Walk. And Change a Child's Life

FREE Trip to Israel* Roundtrip airfare & hotel accommodations included. *Minimum fundraising targets apply

Full Marathon | Half Marathon | 10K | 5K

OCTOBER 2018

EXPERIENCE THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE There are few challenges more exciting or dramatic than climbing the world's highest free-standing mountain.

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For more information visit: www.climb4shalva.org or contact: challenges@shalva.org

Kosher Vegetarian food

No walking on Shabbat

Minimum fundraising targets apply


AILI LAFER To me S halva is not just a place where people volunt eer; rat her it ’ s a home. It ’ s become a place where I can call home. The people, the at mosphere, it ’ s all incredible. Smiles, energy creat ed by the abilit y t o be limit less and f eel like you can do anyt hing. S halva is a special place f or t he most unique people H as hem has created. I’ m honored t hat I was able t o be a part of this f amily here at S halv a.


ARIELLE JACOBOWITZ M y experienc e in Sha lv a ha s deeply enhanc ed m y yea r l ea rnin g in Israel. I lo ved h a ving somet hing t o look fo rwa rd to every week . I loved ma king connect ions wit h my class and I learned so ma ny t hings f rom my kids an d t h e t ea chers. I can ’t wait t o IY"H com e visit S halva w hen ev er I come bac k t o isra el a nd t o maint ain my co nnectio n with the Sh a lva fa mily!!


AYELET REV Shalva was the p lace I use d t o co untdo wn t he ho ur s unt i l i coul d be gi n. Eve n though the o p p or t uni t y came al ong o nl y o nce a we e k, e ve r y mi nut e spe nt wi t h the ki d s was o f val ue and mad e a massi ve diffe re nce in my l i fe . Shalva was the p lace that no matte r ho w tir ed , upset , o r st re sse d I was, o nce I e nt e re d t he bui ldi ng, I was le ft wi t h a smi le and thi s aut omat i c fee li ng wit hin me o f purit y and happi ne ss. The r e ar e no wor ds t o de scri be such an e xpe r i e nce whe r e ther e is so much car e , l ove , i nsp i r at io n and supp or t i n e ver y classr oo m, vo lunt ee r , frie nd, activity, te ache r , t he ent i r e faci l i t y and most i mpo r tant l y the chil dr e n. I have never se en a p lace li ke Shalva i n my ent i r e li fe and I thank Shal va fo r chall e ngi ng me and t eaching me so many mor e t hi ngs about myse l f and all o wing me t o se e the uniquene ss and spar k in e ach and e ve r y si ngl e pe r son ar ound me . I n a ver y shor t few mo nths Shal va change d me and I ho pe i t d oe s t he same for so many o the rs.


BAYLI JACOBSON My experienc e at Sha lv a this yea r w a s one t ha t I w il l ch erish forever. Go in g in every Wedn esda y w as t he highl igh t of my week. From pla yin g on t he sl ides t o p l a yin g with the b lo cks a nd boo ks it c ou ld n’t h ave been m ore f un.


BRYNA GREENBERG My year here i n I s ra el wo uld no t have b e e n the s a me wi tho ut my we e k ly Sha lva vi s i ts . Whe n I fi rs t a rri ved, I couldn’t i magi ne ho w a li ttle e i ghte e n ye a r o ld li k e mys e lf, wi th li mi te d He bre w s k i lls, co uld mak e a di ffere nce i n such a n ama zi ng o rga ni za ti o n. Jus t o ne to ur a ro und the be a uti ful bui ldi ng le ft me a wes truck . I t ma de me fee l li k e I was a part o f s o me thi ng tha t wa s s o much bi gge r tha n mys e lf- a world whe re the live s of tho us ands were b ei ng change d e ve ry da y. Howe ve r, a fte r s pe ndi ng jus t o ne ti me wi th my gorge ous gi rls in ‘K vutzat Nitza n,’ I rea li ze d tha t I wa s a ls o a pa rt o f s o me thi ng s o clo s e , a nd s o lovi ng. I was a part o f a family. T hi s duality tha t I ca rri e d he lpe d me unde rs ta nd tha t Sha lva wa s a pla ce that truly mo de le d inclus i o n. But fo r the fi rs t ti me e ve r, I wa s the o ne tha t wa s b e i ng i nclude d, rathe r than doi ng the i ncludi ng. I was the o uts i de r i n s o ma ny wa ys . But tha t di dn’t pre ve nt my gi rls and Bnot Shei rut fro m le tti ng me i nto the i r wo rld, e ve ry We dne s da y, wi th o pe n a rms , hugs, a nd s o much love . So thank you to my Bno t She irut, my si s te rs ; Re va , Ro te m, a nd Ma a ya n. T ha nk yo u to my gi rls a t K vutzat Nitzan, you are the lights o f my life . T ha nk yo u Sa mmy, the be s te s t ‫רא ש מתנדבים‬. And tha nk you, Shalva. In yo u, I have fo und a s e co nd ho me ; A ma gi c, tha t i ns ta ntly turne d my b a d da ys i nto the b es t da ys , s ome of the gre ate st me mo ri e s tha t I ha ve e ve r ma de , a nd a fa mi ly, tha t I ho pe to fo reve r b e a part of .


DALIA KAFTARI W hen I w as youn ger, I a lw ays assumed that volunt eering wo ul d b e just so met hing t o add into my sc hedule. A s I h a v e gro w n, I've real iz ed t ha t it ’s so m uch m ore than t hat. It ’ s mo re tha n jus t a o n e t im e t hing, it’s making a m eanin gful d if ference in someo ne else’s life but ev en m ore so in m y ow n . Bein g apa rt o f t he Sh al va fa mily has changed my life f orev er!


DANIELLE KINCHES Vo lunt ee r i ng at Shal va has be e n one o f t he hi ghl i ght s of my ye ar he r e i n I sr ae l . Since t he first mo me nt I walke d in, I fe lt t he war mt h of Shalva t hr o ughout the bui l di ng. Eve r y chil d i s cel e br at e d for who t he y ar e at Shalva and I am co nst ant ly i mp r e sse d with how i nvest ed the st aff ar e in e ach and e ve r y i ndi vi dual’ s succe ss and hap pi ne ss. I am so t hankful fo r my Shalva suppor t syst e m: Sammy Schae chte r -for al ways be i ng t he r e for me and fo r pr o viding me wit h le ade r shi p opp or t uni t i e s t hat have e nable d me to co nt r ibute and be an inte gr al p art o f t hi s spe ci al communi ty. Shir a, Ro ni and Me ir av and al l o f t he ot he r vol unt e e r s i n Kvuzt at Had as for be i ng so car ing, pat i e nt , fun and co mmit t ed t o our gir ls. I have had so much fun wor king wi th and le ar ni ng fr o m e ach and e ver y o ne of you. To my be auti ful, funny and sup e r spe ci al Kvutza, thank you fo r al l be i ng as i ncre d i bl e as you ar e. Tue sd ays we r e my favo ri te days of the we e k be cause I kne w I was goi ng to sp e nd ti me wi t h you guys! Thank you t o the Shalva fami ly for all of t he me mo rabl e mome nts!!


ELI FORTA T here is no plac e lik e Shal va . T here is no pl ace as hap py, a s w arm, o r as caring. It is a wonderf ul pl ace t hat ha s sh aped me and made me wh o I a m t oday. Shalv a is m o re th an just an amazing o rganizat ion. It 's t he best f amily anyone can ask fo r, and I'm gla d I w as abl e t o be a part of it .


EMILY BERGER Vol unt e e ri ng at Shal va was t ruly an e xpe r i e nce I wi ll ne ve r for ge t. Eve r y We d ne sd ay, when I wo ul d wal k int o t hat buil di ng I would i mme d i at e ly fe e l the happ i ne ss and the war m envi r o nment Shal va pro vid es. Walki ng i nt o t he cl assr o om was an e ve n be t te r feel ing. Bei ng gr e et e d by the t e ache rs and chi ld re n we e k aft e r we e k was such a go o d feel ing. Gett i ng to pl ay wit h the kids in the i r classr oo m was al so j ust such a fun e xpe r ie nce ! I n t he Je rusal e m maratho n I was pr i vi l ege d t o r un for Shal va. Dur i ng the mar athon I fe l t so much p r ide and happi ne ss t o be par t of t he Shalva fami ly. I wi l l neve r for ge t t he e xpe r i e nce I had at Shal va this ye ar.


EVIE BLINDER The seco nd I wal ke d int o Shalva I was amaze d. I was standi ng i n a brand ne w, gor ge o us bui ld i ng, fi l le d wi t h ever y single ame ni t y one coul d thi nk o f. The chi ld r e n gr e e te d me with hugs and ki sse s which cont inue d we e k aft e r we e k. I wo r ke d wi th chi l dr e n aged 2-7 i n t he po ol . Ther e we r e chal le nge s, o f cour se , howe ve r t he smi le s on the chi ld r e n’s face s and t hei r e xci te ment and e ne r gy br o ught e ach we e k always made me eage r t o re turn. The chi ldr e n o f Shal va always mad e me fe e l l ove d and acce pt e d, and t aught me ho w t o e mulate t hat i n my e ve ry day l ife . Shalva made my ye ar i n I sr ae l so much mo r e me aningful and e njo yabl e and I wil l for e ve r be gr ateful for all the o ppor t uni t i e s I was give n and t he li fe l o ng l e sso ns I l e ar ne d.


HONEY ROGOFF Inter ning at Shalva on Mondays has given me a new perspec tive on my lif e, as well as other s' . I have had the opportunity to work with a girl who has opened my eyes to all that I take for granted every day. My experiences at Shalva made me have a mor e open mind and not judge others so quickly; we are all going thr ough our own struggles. Shalva has been an amazing oppor tunity f or me whic h I am so gl ad I was able to experience.


JAKE SAUER When I f ir st b egan Shalva I was uncomfortab le with the kids. I had never dealt with kids with spec ial needs before. Over time I began to see them as r egular kids. Normal kids that need a little extra help and attention and the b eauty of Shalva is that ever yone cares to make the kids happy. Shalva c hanged my lif e and no money could buy the feeling I get when I'm there volunteering.


JAMIE ZUCKERMAN

I s t arted volunteering at Shalva and I didn't know what t o expect. I was anxious becau se I never worked wit h children wit h special needs before. As s oon as I g ot t o S halva all my nerves disappeared when one of the kids ran u p t o me and hug g ed me. S halva is t he mos t amaz ing prog ram and t eaches every child t o be t hems elves and t o embrace their differences . I'm so happy I g ot t he opport u nit y t o work in S halva t his past year and it has impacted me in ways I never thou g ht pos sible.


JODI FISHBEIN Vo l unteering at Shalva means unlim ited amount s of exc item ent, singing, and incl usive play!! I’ve come to realize that the kids in ‫ גן כ וכ ב‬h ave given m e so muc h mo re th an I c ould ever give t hem :)


JULIA KREVAT Working at S halva has t ru ly been t he hig hlig ht of my ent ire y ear. My Wednes day morning s at t he pool have g iven me a special ou t look on lif e and have helped me underst and what is really import ant. B eing able t o wat ch t he kids laug h, smile, and g row is an u nbelievable experience that S halva has g iven me, and I could not imag ine volu nt eering any where else during my y ear in Israel.


JULIA REICHEL " Shalva is the happiest plac e on earth." I've heard that sentence thrown ar ound q uite a lot bef or e I star ted volunteering at Shalva and did not fully under stand how tr ue the statement is. My experience at Shalva has truly been one of a kind. Not only does Shalva have a magnific ent b uilding and c ampus, b ut I' ve met amaz ing teachers, Sherut L eumi girls, and most signific antly WONDERFUL par tic ipants! Volunteering in the ‫ ג ן‬on a weekly basis has taught me about the importance of b eing c aring, patient, and selfless. I hope to c ontinue my involvement in Shalva for the rest of my lif e.


KEREN PINHAS When I fi r st walked int o Shal va I t r ul y fe l t as t hough I was dr e ami ng, as I was be ing given a t o ur I was lo st fo r wo r ds. It was my dr e am t o be abl e t o volunte e r for such a magi cal p l ace . I ’ ve witne sse d miracl e s & se e n t he mo st magi cal gr owth fr o m the chi ld re n. It ’s because o f t his t hat no matt e r what t i me o f day, I would walk i n wi th no contro l o ver my smi l e and co ul d o nly l e ave fe e li ng t he hap pi est . Eve ry mi nute sp ent her e was a pr ivi le ge . The ki ds at Shal va gave me so much mor e t han I could e ve r gi ve . The mo st l oving, happy and be aut iful e nviro nment. Shalva i s tr ul y ‘ i nsp i r i ng hope and changi ng live s’. Il be e t e r nall y gr at e ful fo r this li fe changi ng expe r i e nce. Leavi ng was the hard est but Shalva, my se co nd famil y, I'l l be back!


LINDSAY HAIMM Every we e k I have the opp or t unity t o volunt e e r at Shalva. Whe n I wal k i nto the cl assroo m, se ei ng the smile s on al l o f t he ki d s’ face s al ways br i ght e ns up my d ay. Whe reve r yo u ar e in t he Shalva building, e ve r yone i s always happy and i t’s always a warm e xci ti ng e nvir o nme nt. Whe n it was t he Je r usale m Mar at ho n and the Shal va r unner s came t o se e t he buil ding, I had t he pr ivi le ge o f i ntr o duci ng t he r unne r s t o t he ki d s in my gan t hat I wor k wit h e ach we e k. I was fi ll ed wit h such pr id e be i ng able to show t hem what I d o at Shalva and ho w amazing al l of the ki ds ar e . Be i ng a p art of the Shal va famil y was an unfor ge t t abl e e xpe r ie nce and I know that i t wi ll always st ay wi th me.


MICHAL KAUFMAN

Vo lun teering at Shalva ha s been a truly aw esome ex perien ce. It's given m e a n opport unity t o real ly help p eop le wh il e b eing inspired by t hem t oo. T he relat ion s hips, t he s miles, and the laught er a re t he highl ight s of my w eek :)


MIRIAM RADINSKY I am s o t hankf ul to have joined t he S halva f amily t his year. I look f orward t o visiting my Shalva kids each week becau se it ’ s s uch a happy and caring environment . I have f ormed s t rong and meaningf ul relationships wit h bot h s t u dent s and t eachers in S halva. Even as my y ear f ormally volunt eering at S halva is ending, I look forward to coming back and vis it ing in t he f ut u re.


MOSHE STUART I T’S SHALVAAA, A PLACE FOR EVERYONE TO GROW!! Being i n Shalva fo r t he p ast 2 year s has le d t o me t o t he conclusi on that Shal va i s t he hap p ie st and mo st gr owth o r ie nte d place I have e ve r be e n t o. I t has taught me to l ove uncond i t i o nal ly and ALWAYS t r y no mat t e r how har d some t hi ng may be . Fr om the smil e s of t he Chani chi m, to t he l aughs of t he B’ not She i r ut , and of co ur se t he l i mi te d amo unt of He br e w wo r d s fr o m the Ame r icans, Shalva was and wi ll al ways be t he hi ghli ght o f my year s i n I sr ae l. I he ar the wor d ‘Shalva’ and I have t o hol d myse lf back fr om unco ntr o ll abl y r ant ing abo ut ho w amazi ng i t i s. Shalva has gi ve n me a re ason t o smi le at e ve ry p oi nt i n l i fe , t hr ough t he t o ugh t i me s and the to ughe r t i mes. And of cour se takes cre d it fo r my le ngthe ne d He br e w spe aki ng abi l i ti e s. Thank you Sammy for changing my li fe alo ng wit h al l t he Ame r i cans who vo luntee r !!


NICOLE JACOBS S ha l va ha s b een an experience l ike no ot her. T his year I w as given t he opp ortun ity t o w ork ha nd-in-hand wit h the mos t sp ecial child ren I’ve ev er met . T his part of my year bec am e th e highlight o f my w eek. Working w it h t hese kids is no t o n l y fu n but I learn a lo t. I coul d not be m ore t hankf ul fo r thes e kid s. Saying go o dbye t o th e children of Shal va will d efin itely be the hardest goodbye.


ROBIN TASSLER S ha l va ha s b een a highlight of my w eek t his year. W ed nesd ays have c om e m y fa vorite because I know that at 3: 30 I’ ll b e w ith my Kvutz at Eila h. The best part of vo l u nteering is com ing in every w eek and get t ing the biggest welco me fro m m y girls. Seeing t hem being gen u inely h app y t o see m e ma kes al l t he t imes t hat I ha v e trou bl e co mmunica ting wit h th em not mat ter. T he dan ce p art ies are also a grea t a ddit ion : )


RONIT LANDSMAN Ther e i s no d o ubt in my mind that my ye ar woul d no t have be e n the same wi tho ut Shal va! Goi ng t o Shal va i s al ways a highl ight of my day and i t s affe ct on me on Mond ay i s car ri ed thr o ugho ut t he re st o f my we e k! I lo ok for war d t o se e i ng t he smi le s and laughte r o n the face s of the chil dre n and t e e ns t hat I am for t unate e no ugh t o sp e nd ti me wi th e ve ry week. Ther e ar e tr ul y no wo rds to ful ly e xp lai n how i ncr e di ble Shal va i s and it s po we r ful i mpact which it has had o n t he l i ve s of so many pe o ple . The fun, lo vi ng, e nt husiast i c and ge nuinel y caring e nvir onme nt i s const ant and e ve r lasti ng and I fee l trul y ble sse d t hat I got t o be a par t o f it fo r t he ye ar . I am so gr ate ful for maki ng so many ne w fr ie nds and be i ng a par t o f so many inspi r i ng and amazi ng e xpe r i e nces thro ughout the ye ar . Wor ds canno t t hank Shal va and Sammy e no ugh fo r pr ovi di ng me wi th t hi s o ut st and i ng and l ife -changing e xp er ie nce ! I am so t hankful I was gi ve n the wo nd e rful o p p or tuni ty to be a p ar t o f the Shalva famil y and bui l d a conne cti o n to so many ne w pe op le . I want t o wish onl y the be st and much success Shal va. May yo u cont i nue t o up lift and imp act t he li ve s o f many mor e p eo ple and thei r fami li es.


SIMONE TASSLER My exp erienc es at Shalva ha ve been eye opening. From t he p recio us l ittle babies t o th e ol der a wesome adul ts- t he sm il es o n th eir f ac es always brigh t ened up m y day. I knew w al k ing int o th e buildin g I w as go ing to be inspired in so many w ays .


YAAKOV BRECHER Wo rkin g at Shalv a was an experience unl ike any ot her. E very d ay w as f un a nd excit ing and special. I f eel very lu ck y t ha t I had the chan ce to be part of somet hing s o u nique and magical. Despite not speaking t he language v ery well I still f elt super connected t o everyone. I'l l n ev er f orget a ll the amaz ing people I've met and all the incredibl e m em ories I made during my time t h ere. Th ank yo u Shalva!


REBECCA CIMENT My experience this year vo lunteering at S halva really mea n t a l ot to me bec ause I got to c onnect wit h t he kids a nd real l y b uild a bo nd wit h t h em. I think it’s such a beau tiful th in g tha t Shalva gives t he kids wit h special need s su ch a n amaz ing en viro nment and such great opport unit ies st a rt ing from v ery you ng. It’s a n experience I’m never going to f orget.


YONEENA HEIT

I w oul d l ook f orward to Wednesdays every week beca use I kn ew th a t I was go ing to Sha lva. Vol unt eering at Shal v a h as b een so much fu n, and seeing t he smil es of every girl m ade ea ch mom ent there worth it .


MATTHEW WAISER S ha l va is an inc red ibl y special pla ce where people fro m s o man y d iff eren t ba ckgro unds come t o bond. At Shal va i ha ve ma d e so man y n ew friends a nd sol idif ied bonds w it h o ld friend s. I h av e l earn ed t o rea ll y care for ot hers.


RAFI SUGARMAN My experienc e at Shalva has def initely been one of a kind. H aving the c hanc e to put a smile on those kids' faces is suc h an amazing feeling. T he sec ond you get to Shalva you just c an’t help but smile, it’s just filled with so muc h happiness and love. Fr om visiting Shalva, to the carnival, and being ab le to spend a Shabb os ther e is truly a privilege. I’m so thankful I got a c hance to get to know th e childr en and be there to brighten up there day. Shalva is an amaz ing plac e and you definitely feel that the second you get ther e.


REGINA BETESH Ever since I hear d o f Shalva, I kne w I want e d t o be a par t of i t . Whe n I fi r st walke d into the bui ld i ng I was ne r vous and did n't kno w what t o e xpe ct. But as soo n as I wal ke d into my Kvut za I was wel comed by the wonde r ful and amazi ng gi r l s wi t h bi g smi l e s o n the ir faces. I have ne ve r me t gir ls like t he m i n my li fe ; so fr i e ndl y, lo vi ng, and hap p y. Eve ry t ime I wo uld wal k up t o t he buil ding, I was i mme d i ate ly e mbr ace d wi th a hug. Ever y we e k I always l oo ke d fo r war d to go ing t o Shal va and wai t ed for t he day t o co me . Tue sday's we r e my favo rite d ay because I was able t o be i n one o f my favor i t e p laces wit h t he be st pe o pl e. If I was not having t he be st day or we e k and I wo uld go t o Shal va, I woul d al ways l e ave wit h a smil e o n my face . I t di dn't t ake much e ffor t to put a smi l e o n my face at Shal va. J ust be ing ther e and knowi ng I have a fami ly t hat i s t he r e fo r me was comfor t i ng. All t he time p e opl e tel l me t hat i t i s amazi ng what you guys do for t hese ki d s, but I lo ok at it as t he o ppo sit e ; they gi ve t o us vol unt e e r s mor e t he n we can give t o t hem. Vol unt e er i ng at Shalva I can say I gai ne d mo r e fr o m t he ki ds t han I gave to the m. It was the mo st amazing and fulfil ling expe r i e nce I can e ve r ask for . Shalva i s t he mo st amazing fami ly to be a part o f and I am so hap py I was abl e to be a par t of i t. I am for e ve r gr at e ful to Shal va for the fri endshi ps I gained , t he me mor i e s I made , and mo st o f all for changi ng my l ife .


EMILY KORNBLUM V olu nt eering at Shalva every Wednes day has been a hig hlig ht of my s eminary y ear. I alway s leave S halva wit h a hug e smile on my f ace becaus e whether it be volu nt eering in t he g an or having a chag ig ah f or Pu rim, I feel the love and warmt h of t he S halva commu nit y . The time I s pent at S halva has made a hug e impact on my lif e and I will cheris h the memories g ained f or t he res t of my lif e.


DAVID JESSULA LEVY People s ay that mag ic doesn't exist . Thos e people have never vis it ed S halva, this place is f illed wit h lit t le wiz ards wit h a incredible power which is t heir s mile. Their smile chang ed t he way I s ee the world, and made me realiz e t hat t he pers on who really need help was me.


LAURIE REZNIK S halva has been one of t he best opport unit ies I've had t his y ear. To give kids wit h disabilit ies a f un and s af e environment t o be t hemselves . To open u p t heir worlds t o new ideas and dreams . To g ive t hem t he love and happines s t hey des erve. However, volu nt eering at S halva hasn' t jus t been abou t g iving, bu t about t aking t oo. I have t aken so many lif e less ons, made lif elong f riends and g ained a deep er appreciat ion f or what I have. I am so proud t o have been a part of t his amazing place.


YITZI KESTENBAUM V olu nt eering at Shalva has had su ch an incredible impact on my y ear in Israel. There's s o much t o learn from play ing and working with t he children. Helping t hem wit h act ivit ies t hat s o much of u s t ake for grant ed really makes you take a st ep back and appreciat e what y ou have. There' s not hing t hat can brig ht en y our day more t han making a child s mile and f eel like t heir diff erences aren' t g oing t o s t op t hem f rom having an amaz ing lif e.


MADDY ASSOR V olunt eering at Shalva every week t his year has been an amaz ing experience. The st aff in Gan Malki have g iven me the opport unity to take part in every t hing g oing on including hy drot herapy , g y mboree and reg u lar g ames in t he classroom. The kids are so adorable and always lig ht up t he room t hey're in wit h song s, dancing and unlimit ed hug s ! S halva is an amazing org aniz at ion t hat has posit ively impact e d my lif e and y ear in Israel, for which I am ext remely g rat efu l.


TALYA GELLIS For me my love of S halva start ed when I ran in t he Jerus alem marat hon t hree y ears ag o wit h S halva. From day one I was blown away wit h t he amaz ing org aniz at ion t hat is S halva and all t hey do f or t he children and their f amilies. I knew rig ht away t hat I want ed t o be a part of it! So aft er ru nning in t he marat hon for t wo years , I st art ed volu nt eering at S halva on Wednes day af ternoons helping ou t in t he g an. It has been a g reat hig hlight of my week ma and I love g ett ing involved! I only hope t hat my involvement in S halva cont inues in t he y ears t o come f rom wit hin and wit hout Israel.


TAMAR LIEBLICH Walking in to Shalva b r ings a smile to my face every time. Seeing the smiles on all of the kids fac es is so special. For the past year, I have worked with the babies. The people that I have worked with are so devoted to their kids and tr eat them like kids of their own. They are so passionate ab out what they do whic h inspires me to help others constantly. E ven when times wer e tough, the smile on th eir fac es remained and they never got f rustrated. While wor king with the bab ies, I have learned to be mor e patient with other s and have seen so much b eauty, uniqueness, and individuality in eac h one of them. Just making them smile wer e some of my f avor ite moments. Thank you Shalva for giving me this amazing oppor tunity to be a par t of something so b eautiful!


ATARA SPRUNG Working at Shalva has g iven me t he opport u nit y t o do s uch a big ches s ed by g iving back to t he communit y . I was very lu cky to have worked with a g irl who has not only chang ed my lif e but als o my perspective on what ches sed act u ally means . My experience at Shalva has t au g ht me t o have an open mind f or all kinds of s itu ations. I am very g rat efu l t hat I had t he opportunit y to have worked with su ch an amaz ing org aniz at ion.


TZIPPORA TOPP Sinc e 10th gr ade, I’ve b een involved in Shalva through raising money and running in the mar athon. Although I felt connec ted to Shalva, it pales in comparison to what I now feel, after volunteering at Shalva every week thr oughout my year in Isr ael. At Shalva, I swim with girls of all ages and abilities. As muc h as I tr y to help them, they have helped me so muc h mor e. They have taught me patience, p erseveranc e, and to be kind to ever yone. I have gained c onfidence in myself to help c hildren with special needs, and the inspir ation to do precisely that this summer. I am so gr ateful to Shalva for the amazing things it does for the children, the f amilies, and for volunteer s like me.


MICHAL KARBEN For t he pas t three y ears I have been ru nning in t he Jerus alem Marat hon with Shalva. Bu t , it was n’ t unt il t his y ear, when I had t he opportu nity t o volu nt eer t here every week t hat I really u nders t ood that not only does S halva t ransf orm t he lives of the children t here, but t he volu nt eers as well. S halva has g iven me t he ability to g row so mu ch in t he realm of working wit h children wit h s pecial needs. And t he nerves t hat I had on the f irst day are now all g one and inst ead I wait wit h excit ement f or Wednesday ’s to come so I can be wit h t he kids .


SARA KAUFMAN V o l unteering at Sha lv a is th e h igh light of each of my w eeks. E ac h time I lea ve I co unt down to m y ret urn. Seeing t h e s mile on my kid s fa ces w hen we walk int o t heir ga n mak es my d ay. T he a t mo sph ere in Shalva is one of pure j oy a nd h app in ess. S ha lv a h a s l eft a last ing impression on m e a nd i ca n’t w ait t o iy" H visit in the future.


JORDANA HORNBLASS Volunteering at Shalva was tr uly an unforgettable experienc e. I was gr eeted with c heerf ul f ac es as soon as I stepped in. Walking into my c lassroom every Wednesday and seeing those little smiling fac es surely made my day. T he teac her s wer e always so kind and friendly and always made sure I f elt par t of the c lass. I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to volunteer at Shalva with all thes e amazing kids. I always felt the war mth and positivity thr oughout the b uilding. I am in awe by what this or ganiz ation has c reated. Shalva gives these c hildren the hope and c ar e that they need and I f eel so muc h pride and joy being part of that. I will sinc er ely miss being par t of the Shalva family!


MARCELLE SETTON E very Wednesday , I looked f orward t o opening t he door of the clas s room to s ee the babies first waking up f rom t heir daily nap. I enjoy ed s eeing their happy f aces when t he music came on. I als o wat ched them improve and develop t his year which was as t ounding. I am truly amaz ed by t he care of t he s t aff and joyf ul at mos phere at Shalva, which inspires me t o spread happines s and care for t he people in m y life even more.


YAAKOV SOBEL S halva has t ruly been amaz ing for me it ’ s t au g ht me a lot of H ebrew and abou t lif e in g eneral. B ut mos t of all, it t aug ht me abou t bas eless love f or all hu man being s . It ’ s somet hing tremendous ly special t o be able t o ju st s how u p t o a place, with people y ou’ve never met , in a lang uag e y ou hardly speak, only t o s how t hem all the love in y ou r heart and have t hat f ully reciprocat ed. I don’t jus t feel a part of S halva, I f eel S halva is a part of me.


RACHEL KOSSIN Whe n I thi nk o f Shalva the wo r ds fami ly and happi ne ss co me to mi nd . No matte r the ki d o r t he d i sabi li ty, e ve r yo ne is t r eat e d wi t h the same amo unt of lo ve and car e . Fr om the smil es on t he chi l dr e n’s face s, t o t he hugs t he y gi ve you as t he y pass by, i t’ s i mp o ssibl e not t o smi l e when yo u’ re walking d own t he hal ls. Not o nl y i s e ach and e ve r y chil d abso l ut ely p r eci o us, but the st aff and vo lunt e e r s al so at t ri but e t o t he awe -i nspi r ing e nvir onme nt t hat make s up Shal va. I had the pl e asur e of be i ng able t o wor k i n the ganim as we ll as wi t h t he o l de r kvut zo t and whi le I may have be e n the r e to he l p out , at the end of a day at Shal va, i t was me who al ways fe l t i nspi r e d . Shal va i sn’ t j ust my che ssed , i t’ s my ho me .


LEBA WILAMOWSKY

My exp eriences at Sh al va t his yea r w ere v ery nice. It w as grea t seeing the kid s rea ll y devel op and mat ure over t im e in th eir interaction w it h eac h ot her and react ion t o the l earning. The Sh al va sta ff w as so nice and creat ed a hap py environ men t fo r t he kids a nd a nyone who ent ered t he b uil d ing. It mad e Sh al va a rea ll y great plac e t o v ol unt eer a t!


SHIRA ROM Home to me, is not r eally a plac e, rather its a feeling. Walking through the doors of Shalva, I am instantly str uc k by feelings of warmth and love. I am gr eeted by smiling faces and eager hearts. Working at Shalva has been one of the most r ewar ding exper ienc es of my life. It has taught me that a r ole model doesn't have to be someone older than you, or stronger than you, but r ather someone who teac hes you the truest meaning of happiness. The r elationships and connec tions I have developed this year have impac ted me in ways I c annot desc r ib e. T her efore I would like to expr ess my heartf elt gr atitude to Shalva for not only enr iching my year, but for pr oviding me with a f eeling of home.


ELISHEVA GOLDMAN a I always lo ok fo rwa rd t o T uesda y af t ernoons every week w h en I go to Sh al va . I love w al king int o the building a nd gettin g an inst an t h ug from t he kids I volunt eer with . I’ l l be s ad to say goo dbye t o t h e kids and to t he highl igh t of m y week !!


JORDANA LICHTER As a s enior in hig h s chool I decided t o ru n f or S halva in t he Jeru s alem marathon. We arrived in Israel and spent a mos t beau tif u l S habbat along with S halva f amilies . This weekend was ey e opening f or me. I knew t hat I had t o volunt eer at S halva du ring my gap y ear. S halva is f ull of love and s pirit and I am privileged every week to witnes s all t he hard work and dedication t hat each child receives . I am so t hankfu l for t he opport u nit y t o learn and grow from thes e s pecial children.


ABIGAIL ZAR E very day I enter the door s of Shalva, I gain unforgettable memories. No matter how big or small, all have impac ted me greatly. One that really stuck was dur ing dismissal. I was r unning around with three kids from my gan. They wer e c hasing me ar ound, hugging me and just showing me their utmost love and af fection. Watching their unc ontrollable and c ontagious laugh, I r ealized how all my kids want t o give people is love and happiness. T hey are all individual b undles of joy. These kids bring out the better side of me. No matter what mood I walk into those doors, these kids never f ail to make me walk out with a smile on my face.


GABY BENELYAHU V olu nt eering at Shalva has been one of t he most impact f ul experiences of my life. I alway s look forward t o coming t o Shalva and s pending time wit h the kids . Coming t o S halva not only has made me appreciate what I have, bu t I have also g rown t o love and appreciat e all the kids I work wit h each week. Whenever I come t o t he s wimming pool I am g reet ed wit h hug s and kis ses f rom every one and it leaves a smile on my f ace for t he remainder of the week. I am s o bles s ed I have received t his incredible opport unity to make my gap y ear in Israel t hat much more meaning fu l.


MEIRA LEVINE Shalva has be en a wel coming ho me to me t hi s past ye ar . Eve r y Mo nd ay walki ng i nto the gan, t he chi l d r e n all gr e e t me with hugs and smi l e s. The y we l come me i nto the i r ho me and l et me p l ay, d ance and r e ad wit h the m. Havi ng t he abi li t y t o spe nd ti me at Shal va o ver t he ye ar has gi ve n me a de e pe r unde r standi ng o f t he chi ldr e n and the o r gani zati o n. It has shown me t hat it ’s no t the vol unt e e r s j ob t o make the ki d s fee l goo d, we aren’t doing che sse d for the m, but t he y ar e doi ng che sse d fo r us. The y ar e i nvi ti ng us in and all owing us t o be a part o f t he ir e xtraor di nar y envi ro nme nt . I am so thankful t hat I had t his o ppor t uni t y and time t o spe nd wit h t he chi ld r e n at Shalva and I can’ t wai t t o co me back and vi si t .


TOVA BLANK Vol unte e r i ng at Shal va this ye ar has tr uly be e n amazi ng! The r e ’ s t r uly nothi ng l ike coming t o t he gan e very we e k and se e i ng all t he chi ldr e n i nstant l y smi l e at me and run t o gi ve me hugs. I quickl y l e ar ne d t hat I di dn’ t e ve n ne e d my basi c He br e w to fo rm gr eat re lati o nshi p s wit h t he chil dr e n and t hat we coul d e asi ly play, si ng, and laugh toge the r. Each o f the chi l d r e n have t he ir o wn uni que pe r so nali t i e s whi ch make s co mi ng t o Shal va e xcit i ng and so much fun! Shalva is tr uly an e xtr aor di nar y pl ace whe re these chi ld ren can come t o so cial ize, pl ay, and l ear n and I ’ m so pr i vi l ege d that I got to hel p o ut and se e a glimp se o f t his amazing o r ganizati on. I ’ ve le ar ned so much fr om thi s gr e at e xp e ri ence and I can’ t wai t to vi sit my gan in ye ars t o come !


URI GORDON When I firs t heard abou t S halva, I was worried about what volu nteering there wou ld be like. I was scared I’ d have a hard t ime g et t ing comf ortable with the children. B ut af t er my t ime t here, my pers pect ive on people wit h ment al disabilit ies has t ot ally changed. S halva s howed me that being different doesn’ t mean you have any les s valu e. The children of S halva are s o s pecial, and wit hout t his amazing org aniz at ion, I may never have had t he opport u nit y to realize t his.


ELIANA POMERANCE Whe n t hinki ng abo ut my t ime at Shal va, al l t hat co me s to mi nd i s t he hap p i ne ss, lo ve and war mt h ever yone gives e ach ot he r . I e nt e r e ach Monday t o a huge l ovi ng and warm famil y, all lo o ki ng out for each ot he r wi t h the br i ght e st smi l e s. I e nt e r my gan each we ek so excit e d t o see my childr e n. Each one o f t he r e smi le s br i ght e n my day. We have such a fun ti me whe n I t urn the music on and have a dance par t y. The se chi ld r en always p ut a smile o n my face and I am so gr at e ful to have had t he op por t uni ty t o spe nd many hour s wit h t he m. Shalva i s t r ul y an incre d ible pl ace and I ’ m so be yond lucky to have had the gr e at e st o ppor tunity t o vol unte e r t his year . I n Amer i ca, I was apar t of Shalva as I r aised mo ne y for t he m, but I always dr e ame d t o be a vo lunte e r the r e. I am so gr at e ful fo r t he e xpe r ie nce I had . My vo lunt ee ri ng never fe lt l ike che sse d , i t fe lt li ke a huge, pe aceful , car ing fami l y. Thank you to all the st aff and volunt ee r s who put t o get her such an amazing pr o gram, and e sp e cial l y to t he chi ldr e n for making such an i mpact o n my l ife. I t r ul y l o ve Shalva!


RAQUEL KLINGER When I fi rst came t o volunteer at Shalva I was unde rstandably super nervous, but as soon as I walked in and rec eived a smi le and hello from numerous c hildren t hose nerve s comple tely disappeare d. My favori te mome nts at Shalva are when I wake up my ki ds from their naps with a huge smile and t hey see me and smi le bac k with the sweet est yawn. I now eag erly wait for Tuesday to c ome so that I c an see m y kids. They are only t hree years old but I have le arne d so muc h from them. I am so lucky to have been given the opportunity to volunteer at Shalva. I will t ruly miss it but obviously c annot wait to come vi si t.


ARIELLA STIMLER V olu nt eering at Shalva this y ear has been amazing ! I have loved f orming a relations hip wit h all t he kids . S eeing t heir prog res s and development f rom day one till now has really s hown me t he amazing work Shalva does! It ’ s t ru ly uniqu e how every one child, reg ardles s of their backg rou nd and upbring ing , g et s equal love and at t ent ion f rom each member of t he S halva f amily . It ’ s t ruly been an experience I will never forg et !


SARA KATZ I ’m p r o ud t o say that I have be e n a par t o f Shal va fo r t wo ye ar s no w. I have always enj oyed be i ng a par t o f this amazing o r gani zat i o n. Fr o m t he fundr ai si ng to the ti me spent wi t h the pr e cio us chil dren o f Shalva, I ’ ve lo ve d e ve r y mi nut e o f i t. The fe e li ng o f achi eve ment aft er running in the Je r usal e m mar athon whi le he lpi ng o ut a wor thy cause i s some t hi ng i nde scr ibable . I have so much hakar as hat ov for what Shalva d oe s that I fel t my Tue sday’s i n se minar y sho uld be de si gnat e d t o gi ve back to t he Shal va fami l y. The chil dr e n gai n so much fr o m t he staff at Shal va. I love watchi ng the m wee kly as t hey gain many ski ll s fr om the ir Shalva ed ucat i on and r e ce i ve uncond i ti o nal lo ve fr om those ar ound t he m. My l it tl e t ime t hat I sp ent at Shal va t hi s ye ar has r e all y t r ansfor med my unde r st andi ng o f what i t me ans to be se lfle ss. The st aff gi ves e ve r yt hi ng of t he mse l ve s to make t he chi ld r en of Shalva happ y. I am so happy to be apar t o f i t! I lo ve spe nd ing ti me wit h t he se sp e ci al chil dr e n and I fe e l ap ar t of the Shal va fami l y. Whe ne ve r I ’ m away fr om Shalva, I feel li ke a p art o f my ho me i s missi ng. I hope t o co nt inue t o be apar t o f the famil y fo r ye ar s t o co me .


YONI DEUTSCH Thi nki ng back t o when I star ted, which fe e ls li ke a l i fe ti me ago , I was ne r vous and scare d . I ' ve never d o ne so mething l ike this t o such an e xt e nt and i t fri ght e ne d me . At fi r st I was ske pti cal , t hi s was my day o ff I sho ul d re lax and e njo y i t , r i ght ? But I was so wr ong. Hear ing Mo she Stuar t t al k about al l t he amazi ng e xpe r i e nce s he has had o ve r hi s last ye ar vo l unt eer i ng I want ed to be apart o f t his i ncr e d ible or gani zati on. St art i ng out i t was har d to fit in be cause o f my lack o f He br ew skil l s. Looki ng at mysel f no w, howe ve r, Shalva i s my home away fr o m ho me. I fee l safe and hap py to be apart of such an amazing o rganizati on that i s making such an i mp actful e ffe ct for the se chi ld re n. Pl ayi ng and swi mming wi t h t he se ki ds no t o nly br ings a smi l e t o their faces but t o mi ne as we ll j ust se e i ng t he e xci t e me nt and j o y we' re giving t he m. I f you ask me , Shalva is the Disne y Wo r ld of I sr ae l. Maki ng the se ki ds' d re ams come tr ue and maki ng the m fe e l spe cial and i mp or tant i s t he mai n pur po se why we all vol unt e e r i n the fi r st place . And if I had to pi ck o ne wor d t o de scr i be Shal va I wo uld have to use "gr ow". No t only for t he m in knowl e dge, mo to r ski ll s, and l e ar ni ng ho w t o do eve ry d ay act ivit ies, but al so fo r ourse l ve s. Wo rking wi t h t he se ki ds fr om day o ne up unti l no w has onl y br o ught me hap p i ne ss and jo y to se e ho w much t he y have gr own t hr o ughout the year . So I wo ul d l i ke t o t hank Shal va and all the pe opl e wo r ki ng be hi nd t he sce ne s, e spe ci al l y Sammy Schaecht e r, t o maki ng e ve r ything happe n, and of co ur se to al l t he vo lunt e e r s that to o k the ir t ime to make the se kids d re ams co me t r ue and gi ve t he m all the fun and j oy the y d e se r ve . So thank yo u Shal va fo r an amazing ye ar .


JOEY TOLEDANO V olu nt eering at Shalva has really had a major impact on me as an individual and my y ear in Israel as a whole. From t he moment you ent er t he S halva bu ilding , y ou feel t he warmt h in t he at mos phere and y ou can’ t help but smile. The love and care g iven t o every child is u nimag inable. When I ent ered t he S halva bu ilding f or t he f irs t t ime I was at a loss f or words and I st ill g et t hat same amaz ing f eel ing when I enter now. The S halva campus in it s elf is amazing. They have all s ort s of amaz ing t hing s t o ensu re t hat the children have an amaz ing time. I am s o happy t o be a part of the S halva f amily. Looking f orward t o creat ing many more amazing memories wit h Shalva.


JODIE FRANKS I have absolutely loved volunteering at Shalva over the past year. It is the highlight of my week and working with the younger children is always entertaining! Something I have learnt from everyone at Shalva is the power of positivity. Shalva has truly changed my attitude towards life and I am so thankful for the opportunity to be part of such a special organization.


MICHAL BEER Shalva is a place where everyone feels at home. It doesn't matter who you are, the second you walk through the doors, you feel welcomed and loved. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to come every week. Shalva is not only a wonderful place for the children. Anyone who works, volunteers, or even just stops by for a visit, is bound to leave with a huge smile on their face. It became the hig hlight of my week and something that really enhanced my year in Israel. I have never been prouder to have been able to take part in such an incredible organization.


EDEN LAVI Shalva has always meant a lot to me. The kids aren’t called special for no reason. They are special because of the abundance of love they have to give. When I was told that I can volunteer at Shalva I was more than excited. The moment I stepped through the doors, I knew that Shalva is more than the regular eye can see. It’s special and the love and happiness that I see completely shines. What makes Shalva special is the kids. The pure love and affection they give is worth more than the world. Being a volunteer has been the biggest blessing a person could ask for. They teach me so much each and every day. Every moment spent with the kids is a moment well spent. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to spend my time at. The staff is beyond incredible. The dedication they have is truly inspiring.


TOHAR TSADOK Friday’s have always been my favorite day of the week but ever since I started volunteering at Shalva I couldn’t wait for Tuesday. The atmosphere the second you walk onto the Shalva campus is simply loving and welcoming to everyone. Adorable children that I haven’t met yet are waving at me “hello” and giving me hugs as they go home, leaving me with a huge smile on my face every time! I look at my students as my own little siblings; we play games, read books, and do circle time together every Tuesday. I went on a girls’ shabbaton and made friends instantly because everyone wants to know one another, everyone cares that you’re having fun. My year in Israel is almost up and I want to thank Sammy and the Shalva Family for welcoming me not long ago and I’m happy to be part of this huge amazing family.


SHRAGI ROTHBERG Volunteering at Shalva this year was an unbelievable experience. Every time I walk in, I can feel the love and care everyone has for these individuals and their needs. Shalva is a place where no matter who you are or what disability you have, you can call it your home. Shalva was definitely a lot of fun and a growth filled experience, my year would not have been same with out it.


AVIGAIL ROYZENBERG Walking into Shalva feels like walking into a different world. The people are endless givers, and the environment is so full of love and warmth. Shalva helps so many families and instills them with hope, but they’ve also given more than they probably ever intended to. I’ve gained so much from the great privilege of volunteering at Shalva. I’ve learned from the Shalva members to always run for the joys of life and that a “disability” blocking the way, doesn’t have to hold you back. Giving encouragement when someone feels restricted and watching her succeed reminds me as well, that we’re far stronger than we believe. I’ve learned that giving really does bring happiness and can really turn your mindset around. I’m in awe of simply everything at Shalva and will carry the lessons I’ve learned from each person there, wherever I go.


MIRIYAM GOLDMAN "Being humble means recognizing that we are not on Earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others."


A.J. KAHAN Working at Shalva has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me throughout my year In Yeshiva. Having the opportunity to swim and play games with the children was not only fun but also very meaningful. I have really enjoyed being a part of the children's lives and witnessing their growth over the year through the amazing work of Shalva.


DANIELLA SCHOCHET As a high school senior I had the opportunity to attend the Jerusalem marathon as part of a Shalva fundraising delegation. Although I worked extensively with the special needs community in Los Angeles, admittedly I was most excited about getting a trip to Israel out of it. That all changed when I saw Shalva’s new headquarters, learned about the amazing services and programs they provide, and experienced time spent with participants, families and staff of this remarkable organization. Before my flight left back for home I knew I wanted to do chessed and volunteer at Shalva during my post high school seminary year in Israel. This year I have been attending Shalva on a weekly basis as a volunteer aid in the Gan program with a class of 5 year olds. I have cherished my time helping and bonding with the special boys and girls in this class. I have learned to better appreciate all of the children and to recognize them for all of their unique strengths, qualities and abilities. My time spent at Shalva has truly impacted me on a deep personal level and has strengthened my love and affection for Israel and Am Yisrael.


YEHUDA REPHEN I learned about Shalva when I was a senior at MTA and from that moment on I was on board. I feel so blessed to be part of the Shalva family. I ran the Jerusalem Marathon for the last three years in support of Shalva and enjoy volunteering every Thursday at the Shalva Center. The experience for me has been awesome and made my second year in Israel even more incredible. Everyone at Shalva is so warm and welcoming. I was able to find a passion that is incredibly satisfying. I volunteer because I really like working with the kids and interacting with other volunteers. Being able to say I helped change someone's life in the world for the better, gives meaning to my being here beyond simply looking after myself. volunteering at Shalva takes me out of my daily life. It continuously teaches me something new about people, about teamwork, about compassion, and about myself. In helping others, I am reminded that we are all in this together and we need to remember to support each other in life. Life has so much to offer if we remember to look beyond ourselves. Thank you Shalva!


MIKHAELA MANN Shalva is more than just an organization- it is the epitome of a home bursting with love, care and happiness and I am so fortunate to have been a part of such an incredible environment throughout the course of this year. More than anything I was able to achieve in my time at Shalva, I have gained so much- It is genuinely the highlight of my week getting the opportunity to see the most precious group of kids smile, laugh and grow and watching their face light up with joy... despite their struggles they love life to the fullest with such Simchas Hachaim which is truly inspirational. I’m so so fortunate to have spent the year making a kesher with the kids in my gan and making unforgettable memories with the older girls which I know it will leave an everlasting impact on me!!


TZVI MESSINGER Volunteering at Shalva has enhanced my Shana Alef year in yeshiva in an extremely positive way. Huge shout out to ‫ קבוצת תמר‬for having me and for dealing with my terrible Hebrew skills week in and week out. Thank you so much Sammy for..well.. everything. We couldn't have done it without you. I'm honored to be part of such an amazing and dedicated organization that makes every single person feel accepted, joyful and full of ‫אהבה‬. It is evident the second that you walk into the building that Shalva is a really special place. I will never forget the relationships I've formed and the memories we made. Till next time.


LIAM GOLDSTEIN Shalva has been one of the most amazing and memorable experiences of my year in Israel. It has taught me some life lessons that are going to be hard to forget. I really am going to miss swimming, singing and dancing with these incredible people and I hope to be back soon!


ISRAEL Shalva National Center 1 Shalva Road POB 34449, Jerusalem 9134302 T +972-2-651-9555 F +972-2-653-5787 E info@shalva.org

USA American Friends of Shalva New York 315 Fifth Avenue, 6Th Fl. New York, NY 10016 T +1-212-725-0900 F +1-212-725-5624 E leo@shalva-usa.org California 1880 Century Park East Suite #200 Los Angeles, CA 90067 T +1-424-204-7453 E carri@shalva-usa.org Florida 78 S.W. 7th Street, Suite 500 Miami, FL 33130 O +1-786-814-5368 M +1-954-536-8481 E lauren@shalva-usa.org

UK British Friends of Shalva Suit D, Kiln House 15-17 High Street Elstree, Herts, WD6 3BY T +44-203-866-5741 E uk@shalva.org

CANADA Canadian Friends of Shalva 201 Bridgeland Avenue Toronto, Ontario M6A 1Y7 T +1-647-884-3636 F +1-416-256-4003 E canadianfriends@shalva.org

Shalva National Center shalvacenter

www.shalva.org

MEXICO Mexican Friends of Shalva Hacienda del Ciervo #27 - 504 Hacienda de las Palmas Huixquilucan Edo de Mexico CP 52787, Mexico City T +52-55-52163542 E stevanjennifer@gmail.com

Human of Shalva 2018  

Shalva Ambassadors 2017-2018

Human of Shalva 2018  

Shalva Ambassadors 2017-2018

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