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The following is Gaby’s recount of her recent visit to the WIZO Rebecca Sieff Centre in Jerusalem.

“I had an absolutely incredible time during my visit to the Rebecca Sieff Centre!

I met with Kobi, the director, and he gave me a brief rundown of the history of WIZO itself and of how the centre evolved from a daycare centre for babies in the 1920s to what it is today; not only a daycare centre for children aged 3 months-5 years, but a vocational high school and a women’s shelter for victims of domestic violence and for girls facing mental illness and trauma.

I was absolutely blown away by the enormous scale of the centre and the facilities that are provided thanks to WIZO. We began with a tour through the daycare centre, where I had the chance to see children playing, having fun and learning from some wonderful and passionate teachers. It was wonderful to see how much of an emphasis is placed on developing their skills of arts and music.

We then visited the ‘classrooms’ of the three areas of study of the vocational high school; the kitchens of the chef’s training, the salon of the hairdressing training and the recording studio of the music sound and production training. While at the salon, unfortunately, most of the students were on break but I had the opportunity to talk to their wonderful teacher who was there mentoring a student who wanted to do some extra work on his haircutting skills. He shared his passion for the profession and how appreciative he is of his dedicated and inspiring teacher. I was incredibly inspired to hear that the day before my visit, the students had traveled to Zichron Menachem, where they volunteered their skills to cut hair that would then be made into wigs for people with cancer.

Entering the recording studio, I was blown away to see the facilities and the technology available to these students, something I even wish I had! We entered as 4 students were with their teacher in the middle of mixing a new song for their group project. They gave me the opportunity to play something myself and record it, an experience I will truly never forget!

I am incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to visit such a wonderful place and directly see the work that WIZO is doing to improve the lives of women and children in Israel. It has ignited in me a drive to want to spread awareness amongst my community, especially amongst students, of the impactful change being made by WIZO and of how they can contribute to this outstanding organisation.”

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