SPECIAL PROGRAM CONNECTS STUDENTS AND LOCAL SURVIVORS
TEL AVIV, Israel—Students part of the Israel Sci-Tech Schools Network are connecting with Holocaust survivors this spring, taking part in a unique program teaching their elderly neighbors to use computers, and the internet. The 670 students are paired up with over 360 survivors in 22 cities throughout the country for weekly meetings with local aging survivors of the holocaust. Many times, after developing their initial connection during the students’ high school years, the students will continue to visit the survivor even after they graduate.
The program, dubbed Mechubarim (connected) is geared towards connecting the students with their local survivors and connecting the survivors with modern technology. The initiative helps to fosters a mutually beneficial relationship between the survivors, who share their stories, and the students, who share their technical know-how of modern technology. Both sides gain from their relationship and companionship with the other. The students by visiting with survivors living in their communities in pairs weekly, help to teach the survivors the basic functions of computers and the internet as well as to type their personal stories which are later uploaded to the program’s website.
“I am writing my own story, I now have 10 pages! And I’ve learned to read the newspaper and play games on the computer. The internet helps me to search for my family that was spread out during and following the Holocaust. My (student) friend Eldar has helped me learn how to do all of this this,” said Dov Zorni, a survivor living in Ramat Gan.
“The Mechubarim program has been a major part of my life for the past 2 years, since I met Dov. Visiting him for a few hours each week has developed a strong relationship between us through computers, allowing us to get to know each other, me sharing my knowledge in computers and him sharing his story. We’ve started to write up his story together and will soon begin to edit it and upload it to the website,” said Eldar Sasson, a student at Israel Sci-Tech Ebin High School in Ramat Gan.
“The Mechubarim initiative bridges our students and local Holocaust survivors together in weekly sit-downs, designed for each to get to know the other,” said Zvi Peleg, director-general of Israel Sci-Tech Schools. “The critical connections created by the program teaches our students, Israel’s future, of the horrors of the past insuring that they are never repeated. Their bonding through the teaching technology provides the survivors with the necessary skills to utilize technology to improve their daily lives, communicate with and trace relatives around the world and share their stories on the worldwide web.”
Friends of Israel Sci-Tech Schools is a U.S.-based 501-C3 dedicated to supporting the 206 institutions and 100,000 students that represent the largest independent network of science and technology educational institutions in Israel. Today, there are more than 500,000 alumni, many of whom have gone onto become senior leaders in the military, high tech entrepreneurs, as well as some of the top engineers and scientists in Israel. For more information about the organization, please visit http://israel-scitech-schools.org/