Import/Export: Kefiada program promotes leadership exchange

The Kefiada group strike a pose after painting a school in Beer Sheva.

by Lindsay Goldstein

Kefiada is a one-year leadership development program with a 2-week subsidized volunteer mission in Beer Sheva, Israel. I had the privilege along with nine other participants and two incredible leaders to experience this amazing trip this past summer.

9,000 km

distance between Beer Sheva and Montreal

From the moment the trip began, we were paired up with an incredible group of Israelis in Beer Sheva who were destined to share this journey with us. Leadership played an integral role on both sides of the Atlantic. The Israelis were responsible for initiating leadership programs for us while we were their visitors, and we had the pleasure of reciprocating programs for them when we hosted them on the Reverse Mifgash here in Montreal.

Rehabilitating the spirit

During our mission in Beer Sheva, we spent our time volunteering between painting school buildings and helping out at a rehabilitation centre. The feeling I received from both experiences was one of total pride, knowing that I certainly made a difference. I met a few Ethiopian children who attend this school, and their smiles and appreciation was a reward in itself. The patients at the rehab where we baked, played games and did small packaging jobs were equally happy to see us when we arrived and sad when we left.

Reawakening my roots

This total hands-on experience has given me more confidence, along with the skills necessary to be a better leader within my own Jewish community. Kefiada has given me the wings to fly, and I’m proud to say that I’ve already given back to my own community by volunteering on various Federation CJA-initiated projects. My roots have been re-awakened, and I have Kefiada to thank for that.

For more information on Kefiada, please contact Kim Cola.

Israel and overseas allocations from Combined Jewish Appeal through the Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA address, with our partners abroad (such as JAFI and JDC), social issues including youth, education, social welfare, capacity building and people-to-people connections.

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