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  • DROR Staff

Finishing 2018 On A High!

Updated: Sep 8, 2019

Just a few days are left before the end of 2018, and we are filled with pride for DROR! The girls, the staff, and the programming have been top notch all year, and it's just getting better. We left off on a high from camp and channeled the warm feelings and success into creating DROR 2.0.

Once the Chagim (Jewish holidays) were over, we headed to the local schools for recruitment. We were blown away by the girls' enthusiasm to sign up! Many stayed on from last year or encouraged their friends to register. For our primary group, DROR Sheli (My DROR) we interviewed the girls, spoke to their teachers and counselors, and filled the 22 spots with the girls we felt could benefit the most from our targeted programming.

DROR Sheli meets twice weekly, once for tutoring and once for sports. Tutoring is done in small groups, with a focus on personal goals and schoolwork. The groups prepare food on a rotation schedule, giving the girls a "taste" of food preparation and budgeting! The second hour is a session on either personal growth or body image, as well as bonding time with one another, and an opportunity to discuss values. Our sport this year is the IMPACT self-defense class given by a trained instructor from El Halev, focusing on empowerment through experiencing the hidden power in their voices and their bodies.

Additionally, we have two other programs which can accommodate other young women in Bet Shemesh. The Leadership program is for 10th graders, who are required by their schools to volunteer as part of their yearly curriculum. Through DROR’s program they will embark on volunteer activities to better their community, lead and develop social projects, and learn about various demographics in Israel. As their first activity, they spent Chanuka vacation cheering up patients in the hospital!

Our Alumni program has been under discussion for quite a while, and has finally taken off! It is for the young women who have "graduated" from DROR but still want to be stay in touch with us while further developing their unique identity. Their meeting in November included an introduction and intense carpentry workshop. It was a really empowering experience for everyone!

We recently enjoyed an amazing Chanuka party, planned by our talented staff members! The food was out of this world: vegetables, dips, doughnuts, cheeses, and 4 absolutely delicious, homemade soups! Activities included impromptu karaoke, dancing, lighting candles with song, and group discussions about finding the light within ourselves. We also got to share a little of our artistic sides with a paint party, and student representatives from each of our programs spoke about what we do and why they love DROR!

The staff this year includes our Program Director and Social Worker, Esti Zecharia, Executive Administrator, Esther Cohney, Assistant Program Director, Tali Himmelstein, and Shira Gross as our Alumni Director. All four have worked for DROR in the past, and are excited to use their experience to develop a more professional and quality program for our girls. Our tutors are local university students (with the exception of an amazing 12th grader!) who have proven to be role models for young women. Finally, we have our Executive Director and Founder, Sima Menora, who supports and guides us with her wisdom, love, and professionalism. There wouldn't be a DROR without you!

With the winter set in, we are looking forward to the hard work and success from our program. Can't wait to see what 2019 will bring!

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