Below is a list of our work projects from 2011:
|Earth’s Promise works with economically-disadvantaged Ethiopians in Be’er Sheva. ASBers have taken vacant parcels of land filled with garbage and debris and cleaned the plot, laid down compost, and gave out parcels of land to Ethiopian families to farm. This year we built an “urban sanctuary” (planted trees, built paths, made benches from recycled materials, painted playgrounds) along-side the community gardens, where families can relax and play together while working the land.|
|"Coloring Be’er Sheva/Mitzpe Ramon/Dimona” Working with Amidar, a state-owned provider of subsidized and rent-controlled housing, participants spent the day painting individual apartments, apartment building complexes and murals on walls in community public spaces, improving the quality of life for residents of these different communities.|
|Table to Table Groups spent the morning and early afternoon in a field outside of Kfar Schiller, gleaning a harvest that was donated to soup kitchens and food pantries throughout Israel.|
|Jerusalem “Green Project” at Bustan Hama’ayan Participants spent the morning working with community activists who decided to turn a garbage dump into an urban green space in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood. ASBers built paths and terraces to maintain this nature sanctuary which provides a peaceful place for the residents of this hectic, and at times, stressful city.|
|Hugey Sayarut is a JNF sponsored elite youth movement which focuses on preservation and activities in nature. Many of their activities are designed to bring Israel’s economically underprivileged in touch with Israel’s natural beauty. ASBers worked with participants who are on their “Shnat Sheirut” (a year of service priority to joining the military). Groups worked on restoration and renovation projects at Hugey Sayarut’s headquarters and activity campus at Srigim, and at Wadi Yusuf doing an ecological cleanup and natural preservation project.|
|Aleh Negev is a JNF sponsored 25-acre village located the Negev Desert. In addition to providing rehabilitation services to people with disabilities, it will also provide 12,000 outpatient services to the entire area, and create thousands of jobs for the local residents. It is setting a new standard in the field of special education for adults with severe disabilities. It is the only facility of its kind in Israel, and is being closely studied by experts from around the world. Groups worked on beautification projects and community gardens on the new Aleh Negev campus in addition to packaging residents’ artwork.|
|Beit Yalin, the first Jewish agricultural community outside of the Old City of Jerusalem, is a natural and historic preservation project. Participants spent the morning gardening, pruning and weeding the area to help restore the site.|
|Rainwater Harvesting in Schools: The rainwater harvesting program involves installing water collection systems at Israeli schools, coupled with a curriculum of water conservation and research. The rain water collected is used for flushing toilets, cleaning, and irrigation, reducing each school’s reliance on other sources of water by 77%. Participants spent the day at Tel Shachar digging shallow trenches to allow rainwater to be collected and directed towards water storage tanks that ASBers installed.|
|Kerem BeHar HaNegev Farm: Participants spent the day working on a family owned and run farm doing agricultural and non-agricultural work, assisting the farmers in building much-needed structures such as fences and terraces, in addition to weeding young Olive trees to allow them to collect water. In one day’s work, each group did what would take the farmer a month on his own.|
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Now in its seventh year, AB has proven to be a truly transformative experience.
“While other kids only have sunburns to show for their break, I know that I did something worthwhile with my time over break,” Corey Jacobson ASB ’09 said, who described his time in Israel as “one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.