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Notes from Dror Israel Meeting @ Berkeley CA

Updated: Jan 7, 2021

Steve and Vicki Zatkin along with Allen and Hannah King hosted an informational and fundraising event at the King’s Berkeley home in early November. The theme of the evening was a display of photographs taken by a Dror Israel educator, who teaches photography, and also some photographs taken by his students. They were unique snapshots shown the varied cultures in Israel as represented by individuals and, in some instances, people with their favorite animals: A Israeli Arab on her stallion, a Bedouin herder with his goats, a random couple caught at the moment they were posing for a selfie with their exotic parrot on a beach. There were also photos taken by students from a Dror school.

The photos on display around the room where the attendees learned about the current activities of Dror Israel, its future aspirations and its focus on building a civil society through the education of at-risk youth and communities. Education outside of the classroom was the main focus of the presentation by the three Dror Israel representatives, Zohar, Roei, and Michal.

Then, Steve and Allen spoke of their connection to Dror Israel. Allen told of the Israeli folk dance session he taught at the Rehovot dance studio built by Dror members where the participants experienced stories of the early Chalutzim and the building of Jerusalem in biblical times through the steps of the dances they learned.

Some of the attendees ask perceptive questions, such as what actual impact has Dror Israel had on Israeli society? Was it achieving its mission in the “real world?”

One answer resonated with a former donor She was inspired to make a new commitment after she heard the story of how the Dror kibbutz in Akko prevented a repetition of a riot that had occurred when Yom Kippur coincided with one of the Eid festivals, the first a very solemn occasion and the latter, an extremely joyous celebration. Kibbutz members collaborated with the different religious communities in Akko to educate their own members about the other’s holiday and to respect each other’s practices during their holidays, preventing a recurrence of a riot without the need of police presence.

It was stories like this that showed Dror’s positive impact on Israeli society. Attendees to the event left inspired. And, the event exceeded its pledge goal in support of Dror Israel’s mission.

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