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New year begins for 18,000 National Service volunteers

CM 02/09/2021

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As the children of Israel went back to school on September 1, the volunteers of National Service began their year too.
The 18,000 teenagers come from all over the country and all of Israel’s communities. Jews, Arabs, religious, secular, and Haredi citizens of Israel all come together for one year to volunteer in medicine, education, government offices, and more.
As part of the start of the year, Reuben Pinsky, the director-general of National Service, will go around to the various volunteering locations around the country to wish the volunteers luck. As part of the tour, Pinsky will visit 80 volunteers in the government offices and 50 volunteers in Magen David Adom (MDA). He will also visit various youth homes where the volunteers work.

Pinsky visited Rachashai Lev, an organization that adopted the children’s oncological wards in Ichilov Hospital and Sheba Medical Center, where he met Emunah Pinhasi who is head of operations and strategy at the organization. Emunah began her work with the organization when she was 16.
I had a cousin that had cancer and passed away,” she said. “I saw what it meant to have the girls from the National Service with him through that time, and I decided to do my National Service at Rachashai Lev and accompany the children in this difficult process.”
Emunah did her service in Sheba Medical Center. “I saw that the children were asking for things that we didn’t have to give them. We really wanted the children to get their wishes, which were sometimes their last, so I started donating to them whatever they asked for. I developed the subject of donating and continued with contacts and collaborations with organizations for those children.”

 Professor Reuben Pinsky visits the Sheba Medical Center oncology ward (credit: SHLOMI AMSALEM) Professor Reuben Pinsky visits the Sheba Medical Center oncology ward (credit: SHLOMI AMSALEM)

When Emunah’s volunteer time finished, the Chairman of the organization asked her to stay on and continue working there. 
“When I began my service, there were only seven of us volunteers,” she said. “Today there are 30 National service volunteers and over 100 external volunteers. Over the last 16 years, I’ve watched the work triple and become more advanced. 
“We get children in different states with different types of cancer. Some of them go through difficult times and overcome cancer, and some of them don’t. the kids go through pain, fear, and loss of other children on the ward, and our mission is to make their way easier and filled with good experiences and beautiful moments that will stay with the children and their families.”
Professor Amos Toran, head of the hemato-oncological ward and a member of Rachashai Lev, addressed the National Service volunteers upon their arrival. “It’s in your power to make every difficult moment easier,” he told them. “You paint the ward with the colors of victorious children.”
In another visit, Pinsky met Adva Peretz from Bet Shemesh, who will be volunteering for another year in the Kadima youth house in Or Yehudah.
“Last year was very meaningful for me,” said Adva. “I became very close to the youth. We went through a journey together, and I see great importance in providing a response for them, so much so that I decided to stay on another year.”
“After an especially challenging year where the National Service volunteers stood on civilian frontlines wherever needed, we are excited to open another year that we are approaching ready for anything,” said Pinsky. “We are standing on the threshold of a new year that is also expected to be challenging because of the new surge of COVID-19, and the job of the volunteers becomes especially meaningful. We were excited to meet hundreds of quality and goal-oriented volunteers that are setting off on a year of service. We wish all our volunteers luck and are sure that they will give a lot of themselves.” 

Source: Jerusalem Post

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