I completed the 10-month IBC trip last year in 2016, and its fair to say that it was

the most amazing, maturing and educational year of my life. I experienced and

learnt so much that wouldn’t have been possible at school or university. I was

constantly thrown out of my comfort zone and pushed to experience new and

difficult things for the first time. Examples such as Yeshiva, camping/hiking

volunteering, teaching English, cooking/cleaning and even something so simple

as living in a confined space with others, were huge learning curves and taught

me so much about myself and others. Another major aspect of IBC was meeting

new people and creating strong bonds between the group. Living together,

partying together, playing sport together and helping each other in times of need

created the perfect environment for developing long-lasting friendships. The

program also promoted interaction with those outside of the program. We got to

hear and meet many speakers from all walks of life and spend time with people

from other international programs. A great example of this was when I took part

in the optional 2-month Magen David Adom volunteering course. It began with a

10 day training program with 70 others from all over the world, all taking their

time to volunteer as medics on ambulances in Israel. Whilst we spent most of the

day learning and training, we were given time every night to go out in Jerusalem

spend time with each other and learn about each others’ lifestyles and Jewish

communities. Following the training, 5 others and myself from IBC, moved in

together in Netanya and lived in college dorms. We had full independence, and

hence had to learnt to cook, clean and shop for ourselves within our given

budget. Whilst we weren’t volunteering, we spent our time at the beach, gym and

town-centre, enjoying what the city had to offer. Of course, the actual

volunteering itself, wherein I got to ride in an ambulance, work with equipment

and deal with patients, was the most informative and unique experience I had in

Israel. I had the opportunity to work with patients who had experienced strokes,

heart attacks, gashes, head trauma, car crashes and much more. Whilst it was

quite difficult at times- and for some, very emotional- MDA was the most

incredible 2 months, and I would highly recommend it to others interested in

this field of volunteering. Following MDA, I partook in the 3 month Kol Ami

Mechina program in Tiberius. Traditionally, a Mechina is a pre-army program for

Israelis, however, Kol Ami enables Australians, Americans and Canadians to

experience something similar; to live with Israelis, to learn, cook, clean, hike and

work together. It’s hard to put my time at Mechina into words because it was

such an inimitable program, but it was certainly the part of the year where I

learnt the most about myself and even more so, about working and bonding with

others, no matter how different they were from me. It was truly a time to be

independent and decide what I wanted to do and what I wanted to gain from the rest of my time in Israel, as well as for my future in Melbourne.

 

ADAM COHEN​

Melbourne & Perth
Ph: 0401 707 242

Email: tcohen.ibc@gmail.com 

IBC Director

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