Saturday, August 21, 2010

One Week to Sherut Leumi (National Service)

One week from tomorrow (Sunday), most of Bnot/Bnei Sherut (national servicepeople) will be leaving for their national assignments. The young women and men will be working in hospitals, schools, charitable organizations, government offices. You name it, there's a bat sherut (national service girl) working there.
It's going to be a big change for the teenagers (girls, as well as boys) who will be laden with responsibility (some for the first time of their teen lives) and expected to do their job with professionalism and dedication. Many of them received a week or more of intense training at seminars from the National Service organizations to which they belong.
My daughter will be working in an elementary school. She attended sessions on how to motivate your students, what to do if they won't listen, how to answer fresh mouths, etc. But there's nothing like on the job training.
There's also a fantastic brochure, both in Hebrew and in English on preparing for National Service. The brochure is a free service of Bet Shemesh's Givat Sharett Chesed Committee, headed by Lisa Silverberg. To receive your email copy, please contact Susan Barth- .

On Thursday while visiting the Efrat Community Center, I had the opportunity to speak with Ayelet Avrahami, who among many other responsibilities, is the coordinator of Efrat's connections with its post-high school youth.
She shared some Sherut Leumi advice that perhaps isn't included in Bet Shemesh's terrific guide.
Ayelet said that the first action of the girls sharing an apartment in Sherut Leumi is the most important. Have a meeting. Sit down and discuss different rules and responsibilities that will govern your year together.
** Will you share food expenses?
** Will each person buy her own food and keep it for herself?
** Will everyone prepare dinner together?
** Will you prepare dinner in teams?
** Will you eat dinner together?
** Set up a toranut (schedule) - take turns cleaning the kitchen, the bathroom, the common room
** How late can girls have company?
** How loud can they play their music?
** Does everyone want to chip in for internet? If not, should girls be allowed to use the internet of the person who's paying?
** What is a reasonable time to expect lights out in the apartment?
** When can each person do her laundry?
** How dressed should each person be after the shower?
** Can girls wander around in their pajamas or shorts?
** What level of cleanliness/neatness do they expect in common areas and in their shared rooms?
** What will be the rules for boys/fathers/brothers, etc. visiting the apartment?

Chip in right away for common items. Make a list of the items you need to buy together, household cleaners, tissues, paper towels, soap, toilet paper, etc.

Religious lifestyles
** Bnot/bnei Sherut come from different communities. While most are religious, their levels of observance are surely varied. This is a challenge that can be overcome with understand and mutual respect. Discuss this, especially when it comes to the kitchen, the food being prepared, the way it is cooked and stored, the pots/pans/dishes.
** National service teens were given 18 years of traditions and love of Torah, the Jewish nation and the Land of Israel from their families and teachers. These teens should not be afraid to be true to their Torah commitment, while they are understanding of the differences in other people's observance. Everything they have learned in their parents' home has prepared them to go out into the world to experience new things, use their energies to benefit others and really help the State of Israel and its people, make new friends and grow as committed Jews and great young people.
Good luck to all those who are embarking on the Sherut Leumi adventure. May Hashem bless you and give you success.
There is also a Givat Sharett preparation guide for service in the Israel Defense Forces. It is available as well by contacting Susan Barth- .

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