S is shy by nature however when she speaks of her studies, her eyes light up and she becomes more passionate. “I knew from a very young age I wanted to work with people. I wanted to be that necessary bridge between my childhood culture and life in Israel. I knew that by the time I finished my national service I would apply to study social work.” S does not remember her Aliyah. She came at the age of three strapped in a carrier to her mother’s back. On route, her brother fell ill and died before they made it to Israel. She remembers the family in mourning, however at the time she did not understand the meaning of it all. Following two years at the absorption centre in Mevasseret Zion, S. and her family settled in the Southern town of Beer Sheva to be closer to their family who had made Aliyah several years before. S. was sent away to a religious boarding school and remembers not feeling like she fit in. A young social worker who was assigned to work with her family took her under her wing and from that moment on, S recalls knowing that was her calling. She vowed to pursue an academic degree and worked hard to improve her Hebrew succeed in her studies. She requested a change in schools and found herself by the time she reached high school. She majored in psychology and excelled on her matriculation exams. S. volunteered in a children’s hospital during her national service and found that she was particularly good with the oncology patients. She is patient and consistent in her nature and bonded well with the younger children. S recalls being conflicted by her religious affiliation and as she grew older became less religious. She describes her husband as “ secular” but they choose to raise their four children with Jewish values. She claims that juggling her part time job, four young children and her studies has been a huge challenge but she wouldn’t give it up for anything. Without Keren Aynor’s support especially throughout her studies on zoom through the pandemic, she would have become even more frustrated. The scholarship gives her the freedom to work less hours and concentrate on her studies. S. is determined and commitment to her studies with all her heart. We at Keren Aynor believe she will make a wonderful social worker who gives back to her community in the years to come.
Newletter 42 – July 2023