Follow Giovanna, a hotel school undergrad at Cornell University, during her summer 2015 global service learning internship with the Israel Commission for the Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities, the Israel Ministry of Trade, and Elwyn, a non-profit organization serving individuals with disabilities. This opportunity was sponsored by the Employment and Disability Institute at the ILR School, Cornell University through funding from the K. Lisa Yang Gift Fund.
Excited to be chosen for the EDI GSL Experience in Israel
Saturday, June 15, 2013
And onto week 3!
Shalom Havirm (Hello Friends),
I cannot believe that I am already beginning my third week
here in Israel. With each passing day I am constantly finding new places and
learning interesting facts that continue to instill in me a greater
appreciation for this amazing country and its culture.
At the Commission, I have really enjoyed learning more about
Israeli accessibility laws through my work on the regulations. I am almost done
with the document, and I just have to finish up writing the abstract for its presentation
at the United Nations. Lawrence and I are also very fortunate to be able to
attend the UN conference in New York City with the Israeli Commission the week
after we return to the States. I also began working on some research that will
serve as background information for a new bill the Commission is drafting to
better regulate sheltered workshops. Because my experience has been so focused
on learning about integrative opportunities for employment, I really appreciate
having the opportunity to conduct an in depth study of sheltered workshops and
their development in the United States, as I now have a much better foundation
in disability history particularly as it relates to sheltered workshops. Next
week I will start to look at practices in England, so it will be interesting to
learn more about the UK’s position on sheltered workshops. Also, I wanted to
convey my sincere appreciation to all of the EDI staff that so quickly
responded to my information requests with helpful responses! Thank you!
Outside of work
Lawrence and I have also been keeping busy. We did some more touring this week
and I actually just returned from a trip to Ein Gedi, Masada, and the Dead Sea.
We also were lucky enough to spend some time with Judy, who departed from her
visit yesterday.Judy arranged a meeting
for us with Rivka and Judge Adler, both of whom have been great resources
during our time here. Judge Adler invited us to attend his final class of the
semester at Hebrew University’s law school tomorrow, and although understanding
the Hebrew might be a challenge, I am eager to experience what a labor law
class is like in Israel. On Thursday, Rivka also took Judy, Lawrence and I out for a tour of the area around Hadassah hospital and Ein Karem. Rivka has been such a fantastic resource since we've arrived, and she's dedicated so much time to giving Lawrence and I a local experience of Israel.
Judy, Lawrence and me in Ein Karem
Rivka and me in the desert near her daughter Navit's house.
Judy also provided us
with the updated itinerary for our upcoming internship with Elwyn, which is
extremely exciting! They have put together an amazing schedule for Lawrence and
I, including trips to Haifa, the Knesset, and meetings with businessmen in
Israel. While I am loving my work at the Commission, I am also looking forward
to this very different experience.
Thanks for keeping up to date with our posts and for your
regular comments. I look forward to sharing more about my experiences here
P.S. For those interested in reading more daily updates from
our Israel adventures, I have also been keeping a personal travel blog that can
be found here: http://whereintheworldislaurab.wordpress.com/