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  • DROR Staff

We're Growing, We're Bonding

Updated: Sep 8, 2019

Winter's almost over and we have so much to share!

Last week was our annual Shabbaton. There aren't words to describe the feeling of warmth and family we felt in the middle of the desert. Our base was a Khan, basically, a huge Ottoman style tent, which was 15 km away from Yeruham, a city in the Negev (southern desert). It was a special treat-being able to get away from the city and spend time in this natural environment- a backdrop of endless blue skies against magnificent mountains.

Everything in DROR requires total cooperation. The girls and staff members spent weeks preparing, in the form of baking desserts, planning games, mapping out hikes, or organizing inspiring workshops. Girls from all of our programs were invited to join-so we'd had girls from 7-11th grades, plus staff members, spending a weekend together.

We shared a long bus ride experience to get us there and settled in. We welcomed Shabbat with song and a story of Rav Shlomo Carlebach. We enjoyed a delicious meal together, with 2 of our DROR students speaking at each meal, and our staff members leading us in cheerful, camp-style song (even the handout was prepared by a DROR student!).

The activities included workshops discussing personal experiences, how to make each day more meaningful, a local speaker from the community, and board games with special "get to know you" questions along the way. There was even downtime scheduled in, so the girls could relax with some snacks, soccer, and just hanging out to talk and process the experience.

In DROR style, nothing is complete without a short summary at the end, to discuss what we gained from this weekend. We all shared something we appreciated, someone we got to know better, or something we learned from the Shabbat experience. We are so grateful to Esti, Tali, and our amazing team of staff and young women who helped make this experience so moving.

Our leadership training program is taking off! As we mentioned earlier, these girls are required to participate in volunteering activities as part of their 10th grade curriculum. Our goal is for them to find meaningful ways to contribute to society. One of our students presented a short piece discussing the importance of keeping our city clean and beautiful. She informed us about programs around the world that address this cause. In the spirit of putting our ideas into practice, we then decorated fleece blankets and donated them to an old age home, to help brighten their environment.

DROR Sheli (My DROR, our primary program) girls have been working hard in weekly tutoring sessions, so we decided to give them a break has been had a very enjoyable winter activity-a PJ party! A chance to bond and enjoy the cold from the inside. We drank hot cocoa, made marshmallow men and paper snowflakes, and told ghost stories.

Finally, we want to share our tremendous gratitude to Sima Wetzler, who has been training our girls for their 10K! The Jerusalem Marathon 2019 is in 2 weeks!! Can't wait for the exciting day -the culmination of our sports' training to date!

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