LA Jewish Home on Voluntourism at Leket Israel

Jewish Home LA comments on the wonderful voluntourism that takes place at Leket Israel.

“Leket Israel, the largest food bank in Israel, utilizes the help of volunteers from ab
road to rescue food that would otherwise go to waste and to distribute it among Israel’s poor…Volunteers that come to Leket are diverse in their ages, backgrounds, and countries of origin, but each one of them feels that they are able to contribute in a meaningful way. There are two ways to volunteer – collecting food in the fields or packing food at Leket’s warehouses.

Dr. Gabrielle Mahler, a local dentist and LA resident, and her family went to Israel in honor of her oldest daughter’s bas mitzvah. It was their first family trip to Israel, and the family wanted to do something meaningful while there.

“One thing that was really appealing for us at Leket,” says Dr. Mahler, “is that each family member was able to participate in their own way.” The Mahler children range in age from 12 to 4, and every child felt that they made a difference.

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Before they began working, a Leket representative spoke to them and told them the story of their organization. Then they went out to a “huge potato field,” says Dr. Mahler. A tractor had previously gone over the rows of potatoes, overturning the ground and digging ripe potatoes out…. The Leket representative told them to collect “as many as you can for as long as you’re able,” recalls Dr. Mahler.  “The children really understood what they were doing,” says Dr. Mahler.

The Leket volunteer was able to look at their bins and give them an estimate of how many families these potatoes were going to feed. The experience felt meaningful to even the youngest child.

-Excerpted from jewishhomela.com

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