Update from Workshop 73

By Elsbeth Lewis, HDNA Kvutzat 73

My name is Elsbeth Lewis, I’m from Camp Miriam on Gabriola Island BC. I have been a part of the movement since my first year at camp in 2013. I’m on Workshop 73 with my kvutza, currently located on Kibbutz Ein Hashofet.

I woke up around 12 pm on October 7th and walked outside my room to my friends discussing the attack from Hamas. We were all shocked and scared for what the future of our program would look like, we still are. 

As days went by, programming continued but with all of the stories on the news and social media of the horrible events taking place, I found it extremely difficult to concentrate. We cleaned out the bomb shelters as a part of our avoda. We also got the chance to volunteer by running some activities for kids on the kibbutz including rikkud, sports, and arts and crafts. It felt rewarding to bring smiles and fun distractions to the kids, not only they needed it, but we also needed it. A few days after the war started. 

My parents were extremely concerned about it. They decided that they wanted me to leave. I was booked on an evacuation flight to Cyprus, but decided not to take it as I was still unsure. Later that day, my friend and I were told that our parents had booked us on a flight to Madrid and then London. We found out two hours before we were supposed to leave and almost didn’t make it onto the plane. I stayed in London for a week and then decided that I wanted to be back in Israel to continue my education and contribute to Israeli society during the midst of this war. I felt a strong need to help with my kvutza and was eager to get back. 

After discussing all that was necessary with my parents, I was able to get back to Israel just in time to join the kvutza’s drive to Kibbutz Ravid. Volunteering on Kibbutz Ravid has truly been such an amazing experience so far. To me it’s specifically really important now because I think about the amount of people who have been called into the reserves and how that affects the daily jobs that these people have, that need to be done. We’re able to help the society flourish by providing agricultural labour and support to the kibbutz. 

I feel like my Workshop kvutza has responsibility to help in whatever way we are able to, whether that is labour, volunteering with kids, education, etc. It all makes a difference and I’m so happy to be able to help.