Located on the Mediterranean coast, Tel Aviv-Jaffa is Israel's cultural, financial and technological hub, the heart of the thriving metropolis where almost a fifth of Israel's population live. Millions of tourists visit annually, enjoying the white sandy beaches, the distinctive architecture, the buzzing nightlife and the creative and artistic atmosphere of a city that rightfully labels itself "the city that never sleeps". Just south of Tel Aviv's city center, one of Israel's wealthiest areas, is the crowded and colorful neighborhood of Neve Sha'anan, home to some of the most impoverished and vulnerable communities in the country. Here live tens of thousands of migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers, mostly from Sub-Sharan Africa and the Philippines.
In 1999, the JDC- supported Mesila Center for Migrant Workers and Refugees was founded by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, in order to provide social, educational and medical assistance to the city’s refugees and migrant workers. JDC’s Mesila program acts as an aid and information center for the foreign community in the south of Tel Aviv. Caring for the humanitarian needs of these diverse populations, Mesila provides families of refugees and asylum-seekers with medical assistance, social services and psychological counseling. For the children of this community, Mesila provides support and guidance for several day care centers in the city, caring for kids who range in age from 3 months – 5 years old and come from a low socio economic background. For the older children, 6-12 year old, Mesila operates learning centers offering a wide verity of formal and informal educational activities. Learn more about Mesila
Israel, home to approximately 8.5 million people, is a country of contradictions. On one hand, this strong economy is the "startup nation", a state with the highest number of scientists per capita in the world, with leading universities and research institutes supporting a high-tech industry rivaling that of Silicone Valley. In 2017, the UN has ranked Israel 19th on its "Human Development Index", above many countries in the western world. On the other hand, Israel has one of the highest poverty rates in the industrialized world. Presently, almost a third of Israel's children and a fifth of its elderly live in poverty. The gap between the rich in Israel and the poor, already the second highest gap among all OECD countries, is ever growing, posing a social challenge that is as much a threat to its long-term viability as a nation as are the security threats it faces. JDC-Israel's mission is to create a better system of care for Israel's most vulnerable, in order to close social gaps and promote social resilience and justice.
June 13-14: Orientation
June 15- August 9: Volunteer work at infant care and learning centers
August 10-12: Closing weekend in Tel Aviv
During the summer months, Israeli schools and other formal educational services do not operate, creating a great need for education, supervision, and support within Tel Aviv’s migrant communities. Working at Mesila, Fellows will divide their time between infant care centers and adolescent learning centers. At the infant care centers, Fellows will assist the caregivers, providing infants with the attention and interaction that they lack at home. At the adolescent learning centers, Fellows will plan and facilitate informal educational activities, serving as role models and mentors for the children.
In addition, Fellows will be immersed in Tel Aviv's vibrant city life, and will participate in regular organized excursions all over Israel, gaining a deep understanding of the country’s complex reality. Fellows will also visit JDC’s innovative programs, gaining access to some of Israel’s most insular communities, and learning about how JDC works to make Israel a stronger society for all of its citizens.
• Experience or interest in working with at-risk youth populations
• Background or interest in education
• Background working with young children
• Basic Hebrew is a plus, as is knowledge of relevant languages such as French or Arabic
• Passion for program planning and engagement
Participation Fee: $1,000
• Group activities and excursions
• Airport pick up/drop off in overseas location
• Some meals
• Comprehensive health and emergency evacuation insurance
• On-the-ground staff support
This does not include:
• Int'l airfare
• Most meals
• Visa (not required for US passport holders)
• Local transportation
• Leisure activities
• Personal expenses
The applications for the JSC Summer Fellowship 2018 session is now open!
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