Stories and memories from our Big Siblings
Ronen & Shimon
The special bond between Ronen and Shimon shows us that in Israel – which is a gathering of the Jewish diaspora through the years, there are many relationships between different social sectors. Shimon, who immigrated to Israel in the 90’s is married, is a father to 3 girls, owns a souvenir shop in the old city of Jerusalem and is a man with a heart of gold and very family-oriented.
Shimon was paired as a Big Brother to Ronen, whose family also immigrated from Ethiopia in 2002, though his circumstances are different. Ronen is the second son to divorced parents with no connection with his father and his mother works hard for their living by cleaning homes.
The connection between Ronen and Shimon revealed to be extraordinary. Since their first meeting their bond strengthened slowly and have each become very important to the other.
Ronen is a humble boy with learning deficits, but Shimon has helped him creatively. Aside from learning which is a small facet in this story, Ronen got to enjoy great freedom of choice and experience new memories, such as riding a bicycle, going on nature trips, eating out and even visiting museums. One of the highlights of their connection was when Shimon proactively helped Ronen with his Bar-Mitzvah ceremony.
Here we can see that a relationship between a Big Sibling and Little Sibling that supposedly don’t have any signs or characteristics can not only happen but become meaningful and important.
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“Computer for Every Sibling” project
During 2020, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Israel has gathered and donated over 40 computer sets to children and teenagers throughout the country. All in order to allow them continue the steady relationship with their Big Sibling and participate in learning from distance.
Our dedicated volunteer, Dalit, says:
“I didn’t chance upon Big Brothers Big Sisters of Israel. I was looking to volunteer in an organization that has real impact on the future of kids who need support.
During the days of the “Computer for Every Sibling” project, I had the privilege to establish and befriend an array of people with hearts of gold. These lovely people donated from their time, energy and mobility so there will be no child left whose only obstacle that interferes with his or her education is a computer.
With the cooperation of our lovely volunteers, the branch managers and the organizational staff – led by the truly amazing CEO, Nati – I was ecstatic to see how the project takes flight and the computers, that reached the families with the help of our volunteers, made many families and kids happy.
I thank all the amazing volunteers for their time and the Big Brothers Big Sisters staff who allowed me to participate in this project.”
“Today, I am 4 years with my Little Sister!”
“I found out about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Israel through my local newspaper. I was looking for something to grant me extra meaning in my life and then I looked at the ad.
After calling, I met with the organization representatives for a personal interview and was accepted! They said I need to commit for a year and then the option is in my hands. Today I am 4 years with my little Sister!
I started meeting with her when she just started first grade, and it’s hard to believe how time flies and she’s now in fourth grade.
I invited her over one time, and since then we’ve mostly stayed there since she was comfortable and didn’t want to go anywhere else. Later we started going to all sorts of places like the library, playgrounds and more.
She liked being at my place, since there was so much love and warmth to receive. Hugs were common and she felt that has a safe place with me and my husband. The organization treated us to many places with coupons, which really enriched our outings.
At first, she didn’t have much confidence in herself and didn’t participate in the enrichment sessions the organization provided, even during the Hannukah and Purim events where all the kids participated. Recently, we went to a robotics activity and I got to see her confidence shine, participating in it like the other kids.
When we ended our sessions, she always told me she had lots of fun. I’m so glad I got to bring her to the places and realms she enjoys!
Lately, I’ve been bringing a camera to our sessions, together we take pictures and she loves photographing.
Despite the events of the past year due the Coronavirus pandemic and the struggle we had with video chats, we kept touch via phone calls as much as possible. We’re also friends with another Sibling pair in the organization and spend time with when we can.
I was surprised when one time my Little Sister told me about an experience she remembers to this day, about 3 years ago. It was during the Maccabiah events where we traveled to an event in the Sea of Galilee – she remembers that event to this day as extremely enjoyable.”
Hover over the picture to read the story!
Nati and Yuval
Two hours a week, that's what our slogan says. But real life isn't a slogan on a website and not a campaign for recruiting volunteers. When a Big Brother accompanies his Little Brother for over 4 years, he's in every crossroads and lane. And when Nati finishes a path, Yuval is there waiting for him.