My DIFD Volunteering Experience
Same as any Israeli who is about to finish his army service, I asked myself what should I do when I’m done… that’s when I got the e-mail about the volunteering service in Germany. At first I was afraid of being away from home for such a long time, but on the other hand I saw an opportunity for experiencing independence, other and different people, time to think about what will I want to learn in university, different culture and the basics of the German language, which I had interest in for a long time.
After finishing my army service, I started coordinating my arrival with Laura Cazes the one who was responsible for the DIFD Volunteering Service at the time and everything went smooth.
When I arrived to Frankfurt I was surprised by its size and intensity- I thought it is going to be louder and bigger. Nonetheless the city isn't lacking anything. You have lots of pubs and clubs to explore, historic spots to see, lots of museums to learn from. In my opinion- Better than Tel-Aviv.
I got introduced to my responsibility as a volunteer and jumped to the cold water. I was faced with a reality that I had to adjust to and understood that it will make me stronger by how I tackle it. I had to cope with: 1. everyday work with infants in a Jewish kindergarten that Galit Gur runs. I didn't have any experience with working in a kindergarten but the staff is very friendly and assist in learning and improving.
2. Being responsible of the events that take place every Saturday in the ZJD (Zionist youth of Germany) Frankfurt through working with the teenage instructors aged 15-17 who are not so comfortable with accepting a stranger who can’t speak their language and is not very familiar with their culture and day-to-day life.
In conclusion, by the end of the year I was familiar with how to work with babies in a kindergarten, speaking basic German, working with youth in youth movement, knew more about the German state, Jews living abroad and the German Jewish community in particular, networking by cooperating with different organizations and people.
The DIFD volunteering service Is a well thought and considerate system that is always trying to improve by seminars and constant talks with the volunteers and constant communication with the volunteering places.