A Beautiful Way to Help Israel
As I’ve mentioned several times before on my blog, before I made aliyah 2 years ago, my dear friend Shimmy and his family gave me a very special aliyah present: enrollment at a weekend course called “Understanding Yourself and Others,” run by Global Relationship Centers, Inc. This course helped me in more ways I can possibly describe in one post. It opened my eyes to so many negative (and untrue) messages I’d been telling myself, and ways that I was holding myself back from getting the things that would really make me happy. I left the weekend feeling (as I think most people deserve to feel) special, beautiful, and very, very happy. To this day, when I feel down, I use some of the tools I learned that weekend to figure out what is really going on with myself, and how I can overcome it. I’ve become more patient, compassionate, and generous. (Not perfectly, and not all the time, but a lot more than before.)
Since then, I’ve returned several times to assist at other “UYO” weekends, since once a person has gone through the course as a student, they can go back as a course assistant, any time, at any center where the course is given, for free. Every time I assisted, I learned even more. The UYO course is incredible at helping people overcome the limits they put on themselves, know and feel that they have something wonderful and unique to offer the world, and feel confidence in their abilities to reach their dreams.
Now, I’m bringing UYO to Israel, with the long-term goal of opening a Global Relationship Center here. The first course will be held from July 27-29 (Wednesday-Friday, so as not to overlap too much with Shabbat). Already I have people of all ages, religious outlooks, and countries of origin who would like to enroll. Israelis are thirsty for programs that provide an open, loving environment and tools for overcoming the many challenges here. The level of enthusiasm I’ve encountered has been phenomenal.
The most immediate challenge for most people, however, is how to pay for the class. Due to the costs of flying in the certified course instructors, renting a space for the course, etc, I have to charge $533 per student just to cover costs. That amount, for the average Israeli, is about half a month's salary. Were I more experienced at this, for example a trained instructor, I might have been able to coach each of the interested students in ways that they can use their talents to create new job opportunities for themselves, get raises at work, etc. Right now, though, I have offered them each what it is in my power to do, which is to raise enough scholarship money to allow anyone who wants to attend this course to attend, regardless of their financial situation.
I’m asking you, my incredible readers, to help an Israeli attend “Understanding Yourself and Others” in July (and meanwhile, support a beloved endeavor of Chayyei Sarah). By donating $20, or $200, or $2,000, you’ll be bringing – and I say this with the utmost sincerity – more hope and happiness to the life of someone who lives in the Jewish State. With all the worry that we all have about “the situation” in Israel, this is a tangible way that you can help an Israeli – perhaps a native, perhaps an immigrant -- see past the challenges that seem to constrict us, and make a path to realizing their fondest dreams.
Thanks to my partnership with the Holistic Healing Center of Jerusalem (founded by my Ulpan classmate!), your donation will be fully tax-deductible. Please make out checks to “American Friends of Holistic Healing,” noting that the donation is for UYO, and mail it to American Friends of Holistic Healing, 10 Harvard Street, Reading, MA 01867. (If the donation will be in a currency other than US dollars, please contact me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for different mailing instructions).
If you live in Israel and would like to attend, or know someone who does, please write to me! I’ll be happy to send you information, including a copy of an article I wrote about the program, its methods, and the theories behind it (hey, can anyone out there put this article on the web for me . . . ?)
If you are a UYO graduate who will be in Israel at the end of July, you are more than welcome to attend as a course assistant. Just be in touch with me to let me know you are coming; your presence will be very valuable.
With all good wishes and thanks for your help!
PS Thanks to generous contributions by three donors, I've already raised over $1600 toward scholarships. My goal is to reach $10,000, with the extra money being earmarked toward training Hebrew-, Russian-, and Arabic- speaking Israelis to become instructors for this empowering and fulfilling course.