Excited to be chosen for the EDI GSL Experience in Israel

Friday, June 7, 2013

First Week in Jerusalem, First Week at the Commission

It is hard to believe it, but Laura and I have been in Jerusalem since last Saturday. We have learned so many new things about Israel and we have met so many people with unique stories. Above is a picture of the two of us at the office.

Our workday routine has consisted of

  1. Wake up and get ready for work (long pants/skirt, shirt that covers the shoulders, pack a sandwich and yogurt for lunch).
  2. Go to the dining room of the bed and breakfast. Eat sandwich filled with cheese, tomato, and olives. Drink tea/coffee.
  3. Walk 5 minutes to work. On the way, we pass a day program center for Israeli children with disabilities. There's also a Toyota dealership across the street.
  4. Go through the thorough security at the entrance to the building.
  5. Be in our shared office room by 9 AM.
  6. Read, research, type, and meet with co-workers.
  7. Leave work at 4 PM.
We have had the chance to help solidify the translation of Israeli laws concerning disabilities. Also, we have been conducting extensive research on sheltered workshops versus supported employment for people with disabilities in foreign nations. Our projects are going to help Israel meet some of the goals outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. (for more info, see

At work, I have had some very engaging conversations about the opportunities that people with disabilities have in Israel. Laura and I have also been able to answer many questions about education, employment, and housing options for people with disabilities in the United States.

In Jerusalem, we have traveled into the Old City again to see a lights show at night. It was extremely beautiful. We also traveled to the Israel Museum and Yad Vashem (a museum to remember the Holocaust). At Yad Vashem, I ran into the Cornell Hillel Taglit Birthright group and proceeded with them to the outdoor Mehane Yehuda marketplace.

Laura and I have many more plans for sightseeing. Due to the Sabbath, the streets, the transportation, and the markets get extremely busy on Thursday afternoons/Friday until sundown because everyone is out and about. Once it gets dark on Friday, it is difficult to get around until Saturday evening. We are attempting to plan around this as best as we can! 

Julius Caesar coin inside the Israel Museum

This is kind of what our breakfasts look like (taken from Food Network website)

Laura and I have had the opportunity to absorb so many experiences and I have found myself asking many questions about the culture--especially as it pertains to disability rights in Israel. Next week, I hope to be able to explain some of the things Laura and I have learned during our short time here in Jerusalem. Shabbat Shalom!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! It looks like you two have been able to dive head first both into work at the Commission and into exploring Jerusalem. Keep these great posts coming, and have fun with Judy while she's there! - Irene