The Jewish Innovation
Together with your help, we can change this vacant school into a beacon of light and hope that will eventually turn this neighborhood upside down.
Let’s turn this empty shell of a building into a vibrant Student Village: we’ll bring fifty college students to live here and volunteer in the surrounding neighborhood. We’ll bring hundreds of students to renovate the classrooms and turn them into apartments. The students will continue their work into the neighborhood – building parks for the children, running family centers and afterschool programs, and be a living example of social activism – showing residents that all one needs to do – is simply to DO.
Lod, just a few miles from Tel Aviv, is worlds apart from its cosmopolitan neighbor. It’s fractured landscape and community, high crime and unemployment has made it a place to avoid. The time has come time to change this, and we will do it – step by step, brick by brick, neighborhood by neighborhood – until Lod will bloom as it should. We have the knowledge, and with your help it will happen.
Over the past ten years, Ayalim has vigorously and continuously acted to transform the face of towns and communities in Israel’s periphery, building fourteen student villages that house hundreds of young, motivated college students. These students not only volunteer in the neighborhoods around the villages and work with over 20,000 children and youth every year, but they also take on the physical construction of their villages and their surroundings. We bring those young powerful new pioneers to strategic places in the periphery where they live and revive the Zionist dream of making Israel a stronger and better place.
In a groundbreaking decision in 2011, Ayalim took up the mantle thrown down by the government to establish a student village in the city of Lod – in the heart of Israel’s urban landscape. Unlike the student villages established in the Negev and the Galilee, this is the first student village established in the social periphery.
And so, Ayalim has decided to take on another larger than life project – build a second Student Village in Lod by the beginning of the academic school year. We already have the knowhow and the experience, we have the building and we have the students – now we’re looking for partners. Join us and experience what it means to build the future of Israel – literally.
“There’s a feeling that people are happy that we’re here, happy to see young people in the neighborhood, and everyone is hopeful that we’ll succeed in impacting this ancient city that knew more magnificent times, and like Sleeping Beauty, will start to awaken from her slumber.” — Student from Ayalim’s Student Village in Lod
David Ben Gurion said that “we can’t afford a desert in Israel”. We believe that this refers not only to the Negev desert, but to social, cultural and educational desolation as well.
This is the case in Lod and, unfortunately, is not an exaggeration of how bad the situation is – the city itself is constantly on the verge of economic collapse and is focused more on balancing the budget than setting long term goals for decades-long problems. The situation in Lod is so dire that anyone who has the means to leave the city does.
We can’t afford a city like Lod in the heart of the country. Lod, with its high crime and unemployment rates, above average poverty and below average education, is a socio-economically barren wasteland. We can’t afford a desert in the middle of Israel.
This is where we come into the picture – together we will make Lod bloom.
What Will You Do with the Money?
Funds raised will go towards supplies that will be used in the renovation of an on-site community and sports center; landscaping that includes sitting areas, pergolas and a community vegetable garden; and to making finishing touches on the 20 apartments that will house 50 new residents come the beginning of the school year.
We decided that on this project we want to involve as many people as possible. By providing the opportunity to take part in this initiative, we believe that more people around the world will be able to take pride and strengthen their connection to Israel. Think about it – next time you are in Israel, you can visit the Student Village and know that you helped make a difference for the children and families in this neighborhood.
The architectural plans are done, the renovations have begun. In October the building will be ready for the students to pick up their hammers and hard hats. Now we’re looking for partners to take part in making this dream a reality.