What Does it Mean to Be a Citizen?

What Does it Mean to Be a Citizen?

Mar 22, 2011

The Grade 10 students of the Emek Israel School in Kibbutz Yifat took a special class trip down South, where they learned a lot more than geography.
They learned what it really means to be a citizen.
From up north in the Jezreel Valley, the tenth graders traveled south to the ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran Rehabilitative Village, where over 120 severely disabled youth live and work. The village’s Chairman, Major General (Res.) Doron Almog, spoke to the students about the meaning of a citizen’s commitment to contribute to society. “Every person needs to choose a way in which he will give to the weakest members of society,” he said. “Personal achievement must be integrated with societal achievement and excellence.”
For the students, future recruits in the IDF, hearing these words from an army general had a major impact on their values and sensitivities. They toured the village’s hospital ward and met babies, children and young adults with a variety of complex special needs.  They saw firsthand the love, care, and investment put in by the staff and hundreds of individuals worldwide on behalf of people who cannot even say thank you. And they were moved.
Immediately upon their return home, they put their feelings into action by organizing a collection campaign in their school on behalf of the residents of the village and their devoted caregivers. The package of boxes arrived at ALEH Negev shortly afterward, filled with sweets, toys, books and pictures – a Purim Package of love and warmth, commitment and responsibility toward the vulnerable and needy.


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