Masa Israel Journey Blog

Published : May 22, 2013
I’m not going to lie and say that I felt comfortable and at home in Gedera as soon as I arrived. My first few days were filled with worries about the new place and I began to wonder how I was going to spend nine and a half months here. As I explored this new and different little town, I began to discover places that made Gedera feel like my home. This post is dedicated to a few of those places.
1. Gedera Community Garden
The Gedera Community Garden is conveniently located about a minute from our house in Gedera. I admit that I do not volunteer in the garden as often as others in the group, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the supply of kale they have been growing in the past few months (they really don’t eat a lot of leafy greens in Israel). I have also loved watching all the projects develop in the past seven months. It is truly a beautiful place.
2. Gedera Fields
Photo Courtesy of Dana Talmi
I was first introduced to these fields when we had our first group run when we were training for the Tel Aviv Marathon fundraiser. I really wish I had found this place earlier because it is beautiful (and it encourages me to get up and go for the occasional run).
3. Sculpture Garden
I was introduced to the sculpture garden one of our first weeks in Gedera. I didn’t really pay attention to the sculptures the first time I was there but when I returned a few weeks later I realized that it is a truly strange (also interesting and incredibly creative) place. The artist has refused to sell his sculptures so they are in the garden for everyone’s viewing pleasure.
4. Bilu Garden
Photos Courtesy of Erica Mitchell
The Bilu Garden is a beautiful place for a picnic. We have turned some otherwise quiet weekends in Gedera into bonding experiences for all.
5. Derech Ha Hummus
If you didn’t know that there was anything to eat in Israel besides falafel and Shwarma, this place is for you. In the past seven months we have significantly contributed to keeping Gilad, the owner, in business (today the restaurant is actually celebrating its 1-year anniversary since its opening). This place is definitely a must try. You won’t regret it!
6. Bereshit Restaurant
Walk down the alleyway, past the red tractor, and you will arrive at a seemingly random chicken coup and some outdoor seating. The outdoor seating belongs to Bereshit, one of the best restaurants in Gedera. This is a great place to go for a calm and delicious sit-down meal. It is a little bit pricey so it might be best to wait for when your parents visit…
7. The Bakery
At the local bakery, you can buy two (or sometimes three) borekas for under a dollar. But these delicious, affordable delights are not all the bakery has to offer. It is also the place to go for bread and sweet pastries and it has one of the best candy selections in town!
8. Toov Taam (The Spice Store)
I was initially drawn to this place because I heard they had real coffee beans and I have yet to get used to instant coffee. When I discovered that there was also an excellent selection of bulk grains, dried fruit, and spices, I fell in love. They also sell bakers’ chocolate (which is apparently hard to find in Israel).
9. The Crafts Store
I am a girl that loves a project (or sometimes several) and I was lacking one until I found this place. This store has supplies for all your crafting needs. There is also a selection of jewelry made by the employees for those of you with fewer crafting abilities.
10. Teva Gedera
If seitan and flax seed oil are regular items on your shopping list and/or you only shop with a reusable bag, Teva Gedera might be the place for you. While this place is no Tel Aviv health food store it does help soothe hippy homesickness.
Published : May 21, 2013
By Adi Genosaur, Young Judaea Year Course
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine doing the things I’ve done in the past two months. My name is Adi Genosar, and I am a 19-year-old Israeli, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. I am currently in Israel on a gap year Masa program called Young Judaea Year Course. On Year Course, I was afforded the opportunity to volunteer with Magen David Adom for a short period. MDA was never something I saw myself being able to do. I knew I wanted to be a part of something bigger than me, bigger than anything I have ever been involved in, something worthy of not just me but others around me. That something is undoubtedly the MDA Overseas Volunteer Program. After taking the 60 hour course and starting to volunteer daily at the Rishon L’Tziyon station, I fell in love! The experiences and friendships I’ve made have left an everlasting impact on my life and changed me as a person. This one case still keeps me thinking.
It was just another normal morning shift. I had already had one or two calls and now I was just hanging out at the station watching a movie. “34 Nesiyah (call for ambulance 34),” the moked (dispatch) announced over the loud speaker. I quickly grabbed my stuff and headed to the ambulance. As soon as I was in my seat and buckled, we heard what our call was, and my adrenaline was pumping. “Mechusar hakara (unconscious and not breathing) 65 year old woman…”  This was it! This was the moment they talked about during our MDA training where you need to be prepared for what’s coming. I grabbed two pairs of gloves and stuffed one in my pocket and put the other pair on. I prepared the equipment to come off the ambulance as quickly as possible. As we zoomed down the streets in Rishon L’Tziyon with the sirens screeching, my driver, knowing this would be my first CPR, started calmly explaining the procedure. I took a deep breath as we parked, and then it was time to go.
With everything in hand we headed up the elevator to the 3rd floor, ready. Or so we thought. The minute we got there we saw the door wide open and a woman doing compressions on a young man on the floor. We quickly assessed the new situation and quickly started. I remember my driver looking at me directly in the eyes and saying to “start compressions” while my tzevet (team) got the rest of the equipment out. I panicked slightly as I began to wonder if I knew what I was actually doing. All I remember thinking was “1…2…3…4…” and staring into this kid’s wide-open teary eyes as I tried saving his life. Time started flying and within a matter of minutes a MICU (Mobile Intensive Care Unit) arrived at the door, medications at hand and ready to help us. It was nearly impossible to handle such a serious case with a normal ambulance. They too assessed the situation while I continued compressions. I switched off with someone in their team, and we each continued doing rounds, giving him breaths, shocks and medicine for over an hour and forty-five minutes.
Sadly, we eventually concluded that nothing remained for us to do for him. We had to just let go, move out of the way, and let the paramedics take care of the rest. It was really difficult, and I have to say the hardest part was looking into his eyes, wanting him to wake up, knowing that he was just a nineteen year-old boy, someone the same age as me. It’s crazy to think about it. However, I had to put my feelings aside and continue helping out. I was told to clean the equipment and CPR area and organize it all in the ambulances. As I grabbed the equipment, I saw them cover the kid with a simple blanket which had been lying next to us on the floor. They took the family into a different room while I organized the gear and returned it to the ambulance, just as if it were any other call, and waited for the rest of the team to return.
Once everyone had left the apartment, we were left waiting for a different organization to come to take care of the body. The driver arranged a sort of huddle. He told us what was happening at the moment, that we had done well, and explained the overall situation. Before he ended the talk, he pointed out to everyone, that although this was my first CPR, I worked as part of the team and did the best compressions of the day. I couldn’t believe that he had given me such a huge compliment. The last time I performed CPR, I was pressing into the chest of a dummy!
I remember taking a deep breath and thinking to myself, “Wow, I’ve actually done it!” The situation left me rather dumbfounded. I wasn’t precisely sad. Although someone had just died, I knew that my whole team had my back, and I knew that I really had done everything I could do. I really surprised myself! I never thought I could ever do something like that in real life!
MDA has really taught me to appreciate life. It showed me how to be a part of a team, how to be a leader, and most importantly how valuable a person can be….including me!

Explore The Blog