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Empowering Senior Citizens: Building Social Connections and Strengthening Communities

At Dror Israel, we believe in the power of community and the importance of supporting individuals in all stages of life. While our vocational schools for youth at risk and youth movement programming have been widely recognized, we are also leaders in empowering senior citizens throughout Israel. Our initiative focuses on organizing senior citizens into local social groups, fostering new connections, and creating a vibrant community for them to thrive.

The Be'er Sheva Chevruta group loved the tour of Jerusalem!

During the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dror Israel, as part of the MAKOM communities network, worked to establish "Chevruta" groups. These groups were created to provide much-needed support and connection for senior citizens, who often faced increased isolation and loneliness. The "Chevruta" groups quickly became a lifeline, offering a sense of belonging and empowerment to their members. Recently, 550 of their members gathered in Jerusalem for a conference and a tour of the city.

Within these groups, individuals from various backgrounds and experiences come together to form meaningful connections. Take, for example, the "Chevruta" group in Givatayim, where the club began with just eight members and has now grown to include 27 friends. Led by two exceptional women, Eden and Sharon, who have been dedicated members of Dror Israel in Rishon LeZion for years, the group embodies the spirit of friendship and camaraderie.

The conference brought together Chevruta participants from across the country.

The "Chevruta" groups organize a range of activities and discussions that promote social engagement, personal growth, and intergenerational understanding. Before each activity, members gather for coffee, cookies, and casual conversations, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Guided by Eden and Sharon, the group engages in dialogues that address topics relevant to their lives, such as patience, attentiveness, empathy, empowerment, and fostering a caring environment.

Beyond the social aspect, the "Chevruta" groups provide a platform to discuss national issues, bureaucracy, violence, and the treatment of the elderly. They celebrate birthdays and Israeli holidays, participating in quizzes and sharing knowledge among friends. These activities not only create joyous moments but also reinforce the immense societal value that senior citizens possess through their wisdom, experience, and potential.

Of course the conference also included a dance party featuring songs requested by the Chevruta groups!

The impact of the "Chevruta" groups extends beyond the individual level. By empowering senior citizens, the groups are strengthening communities and bridging generational gaps. Through these social connections, the seniors find renewed purpose, rediscover their passions, and make lasting friendships. We envision a future where our "Chevruta" groups continue to flourish, bringing together more senior citizens, and nurturing a sense of belonging and empowerment for all.

In the words of Esther Bloch, a member of the "Chevruta" group in Givatayim : "My dear friends, the world doesn't solely belong to the young. It belongs to us too!"

The Chevruta groups meet for importance discussions and to learn together, as well as to have fun!

At Dror Israel, we recognize the value and potential in every stage of life. Our work with senior citizens through the "Chevruta" groups is a testament to our commitment to fostering social connections, empowerment, and equality. We work to create vibrant communities and ensure that every individual, regardless of age, has the opportunity to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Join us in building a society where senior citizens are valued, celebrated, and empowered. Together, we can create a stronger and more inclusive future.

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