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Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 11, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 11, 2014
 

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 11, 2014 Not your average spring l00reak Rebecca Fischer and her JNF Alternate Spring Break group weed and plant a garden in Northern Israel during her 'alternate' trip to Israel. By Rebecca Fischer University of North Florida First Person While all of my friendswere spending their last spring breaks of college on cruises or going to the beach, I chose a different path. Through the Jewish National Fund, I signed up for Alternative Spring Break, which is a week-long trip to Israel where college students from around the country engage in community service projects in various parts of Israel. I was excited to be placed in a group working in Northern Israel since I didn't get a lot of time there in high school. From day one, I was in a group willing to go the extra mile. We started out painting the main floor of an apartment building that was in a co-op in the local city for low-income housing. By being put in a project quickly, we all got a chance to bond over being able to help the residents who didn't have the money or the resources to do it themselves. A few residents even came down to tell us how happy they were to have people paying attention to their building. Sometimes you do projects for the sake of doing the project without human contact that you never truly see the impact of the work. As a Floridian, I enjoy a nice day outside. A few of our projects were gardening days to help build a community garden for growing herbs and vegetables, clearing weeds on pathways, and cutting down fire brush to help prevent future fires. The most fun part was the fact that you would get so into pulling weeds, raking, picking up branches, and emptying plots that it felt like you had only been work- ing for five minutes when it had actually been five hours. Our team was so into working that by the time we stopped for lunch, we had gotten twice as much done as expected. There were times for educa- tion and inspiration as well. While tending to one of the gardens at Lotem, a handi- capped accessible nature park, we met a man named Roz. He had suffered a life-altering spi- nal injury at a young age, but loved nature and was excited that there was a wheelchair- accessible hiking trail for him. It was hard not to listen to his JNF on page 22A Remembering loved ones this coming Passover Elaine Gamson with her mother Rebecca Gaeser. The parents of Fred Schott--Harriet and Arthur. Jan and Peter Burg flanking Peter's mother Inge Crystal. The Jewish Pavilion caters to the Jewish community's most vulnerable popula- tion-the frail and the el- derly. Passover photos from 2013 bring to mind many friends no longer here to enjoy the Passover with their families. The Passover meal with the Jewish pavilion was truly their "last supper" or the last Jewish holiday they were able to celebrate at the dinner table.