Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ENP: part of a big family

By: Paloma Chiodo
ENP Volunteer

My name is Paloma Chiodo, I was a volunteer in ENP in the Spring of 2014. I am from Argentina and I had already been toIsrael as a tourist. This time I wanted to do something diferent, something meaningful. I am a cinema producer and also a teacher, so I worked with the staff at ENPwe decided to design a small course on Cinema for the ENP participants in Beit Shemesh. At the begining I thought I was only going to go to the community center for a few hours, teach the class and go home again, but I ended up going there every day from the begining of the day to the end of the day. I spent time with the kids and with the people who work there every day. I thought I was going to teach them cinema clases, and in the end it was me who learned the most. Is amazing how the people from ENP take care of every detail, making you feel a part of them, a part of a big family, that only thinks about the best for the kids. I´m taking all the things I learned there, to my country, to try to give all I learned to others.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Age Old Connection Between Ethiopia and Israel

By: Ephrem Hawando
ENP Volunteer

The time that I spent with ENP`s after school program participants wasn`t the usual once a week volunteer day, but a unique opportunity to bring the beauty and wonders of Ethiopia with its diversity and the multifaceted historical and cultural connections of Ethiopia with Israel in to small class room of Gymnastic school. I am so glad to make this happen in front of charming Ethiopian-Israeli students and their teachers, representatives from the ENP and the school principals. The presentation was meant to motivate Ethiopian-Israeli students with their studies and enhance their full participation in the ENP`s after school program. The presentation was full of pictures showing Ethiopia`s fascinating historic, cultural and natural heritage sites, endemic wildlife, the archeological eight wonders of the world and the contrasting city and rural life. At end of the presentation, there was a participatory mini-discussion session with these students on some question that could widen their understanding. These include what things make an Ethiopian-Israeli student special, the connection to the whole Israeli society and to the family and culture from which they have come and where do the modern Israeli cultures fit in.  Students, teachers, school principals, and ENP representatives expressed their fascination about the unique diversity of Ethiopia and most significantly the bi-lateral Ethiopian- Israel age old historical and cultural connections through the Beta-Israel communities. I am hoping to repeat such inspiring presentations to other schools and motivate the Ethiopian- Israeli students achieve their full potential and integrating into the Israeli society. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Connecting Through Literature

By: Tanya Zauderer
ENP Volunteer

For the past couple of months, I’ve been tutoring Ethiopian-Israeli high school girls in English at one of ENP’s Scholastic Assistance after-school programs. Despite having taught in an elementary school for the past couple of years, I wasn’t really sure what to expect in terms of teaching English as a second language. The majority of my experience had been teaching native English speakers and I naively thought that, at most, the girls would only have a very basic grasp of the English language.

I am happy to say that I was proven wrong. That first day, I haltingly tried to introduce myself in Hebrew, only to be interrupted and urged to continue in English. Despite their different academic levels, the majority of the girls are able to not only have a pretty good understanding of English, but they’re able to read and write in English as well. All the girls are bright, intelligent, and most of all, eager to learn.

One of my favourite school subjects, both as a student and a teacher, has always been reading and literature. So you can imagine my delight when I saw that the girls were beginning to read Anne of Green Gables, one of my favourite childhood books. Working one-on-one with one of the girls, I was so impressed with her reading fluency and grasp of the story. Finding it easier to respond and express herself in Hebrew, she was able to answer every one of my reading comprehension questions correctly. It was fascinating to hear her thoughts about the book and how she related to the character of Anne Shirley. Even more remarkable, was to see how the girls gradually opened up and felt more comfortable expressing their opinion during a group discussion about one of the chapters. A lively discussion ensued over whether or not Anne’s apology was truly sincere.

I’m looking forward to continue reading with the girls and to hear more of their unique views about the book.