Monday, August 10, 2009

Getting our Hands Dirty by Jacob

Today was our first day of really getting down to work on our project of helping out the Donetsk Hesed Center. This particular center serves the thousands of Jews in the Donetsk area (a city of about 1 million people), but is quite a small building. So, our job is to turn the yard into extra space the center can use for people of all ages. We started out the morning by clearing out all of the extra brush and garbage, then got to building. So far, we've done a playground area and sandbox for the little ones, and some benches in the shade for the old folks. On the agenda we have a basketball court and a barbecue area, so the center can host larger gatherings. During the lunch break we had a fun sing-along session with some of the older crowd. They really get all of their social interaction through Hesed, so they verу thrilled to see us. After lunch we had a nice chat about our first impressions of the trip. Here are the basic conclusions: 1. Our Ukrainian peers from Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk are awesome people, and we've been having a great time hanging out with them, despite the occasional difficulties with the language barrier. 2. We're having a great time interacting with the old and the young at the Hesed centers in Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk, all very lively and all so excited to see us. 3. We all had home visits yesterday with some of Hesed's clients who are much worse off, and it was quite a powerful experience. As an example my group visited a family of five, two grandparents around 80 and their three grandchildren who are all mentally handicapped. The grandfather is totally senile, and two of the three kids are very low-functioning. The grandmother is full of energy, but she has only two years of schooling, is illiterate, and can barely walk. So she single-handedly runs this household with an income of 120 US dollars per month from her WWII pension. Without outside help, families like this would really have no chance.

Trip has been amazing so far in every aspect. Signing off now for dinner and bowling with the Ukrainians, should be fun.

Yuliya Shteynberg

The past few days at Dnepropetrovsk and Donetsk have been a blast. Yesterday, in my opinion (and I think in many others too) was especially fun. We finished our second day of yard work in the Donetsk Hesed and our hard work really paid off. There is now a freshly painted fence, flowers, a playground and gorgeous yard. The ceremony to celebrate the new yard was an extravagant - there was dancing, singing, performances of Russian rap, etc. A lot of people showed up, and it was great to see the community that we were helping. The best part, though, happened in the evening and continued well into the wee hours of the morning. We had a dance party in the gazebo with the American, Dnepro, and Donetsk “rebyata”. Techno music blasted, and everyone was letting loose on the dance floor. We even played a Russian group game that had everyone laughing and having a great time. Back at the hotel room, we talked about how well we were getting along with the Ukrainians, despite language and culture differences. Everyone has been giving us such a warm welcome and it’s so amazing to meet people from different countries (and improve my Russian too). I feel fortunate to have the ability to speak to The Ukrainians in their Native language so I feel I can truly communicate and build friendships with the Dnepro and Donetsk kids. I became у close with two of the Donetsk boys and decided to give them NYC t-shirts that I had brought along as souvenirs at the end of their last night with us. Their reaction was truly touching – I could tell that they were so happy to receive the gifts and they expressed the most sincere gratitude to me. They immediately putt on the shirts and we took pictures, everyone with beaming faces. Last night was such a heart-warming experience, and I steel feel happy when I think about the boys. This trip has been amazing so far end I know I will continue to have some more unique and fun experiences as the trip goes on.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Carolyn's blog

Right now we are on the bus leaving Donetsk, after spending the last three days in the city working on the Hesed, or Jewish community center. My time in Donetsk really has been an unforgettable experience. Even though I am thousands of miles away from home, I have felt as comfortable in this city and with my Ukrainian peers as if I were in my own backyard. After going on a tour of the Hesed and seeing what a central role it plays in the lives of the Jews in the city, I felt such a strong connection to our work here. Many of the members of the Hesed have no other family, friends, or resources, and the Hesed gives them not only the vital resources they need to survive, but also gives them companionship and community. Our group spent the last two days renovating the Hesed yard, clearing the fields and creating a playground for little children. As soon as we set up the swing set, five little boys and girls ran over with huge smiles on their faces and couldn’t wait to use it. It was such a rewarding experience to see the children of Donetsk smile a little brighter because we came.

Today, I went with Danya, Jacob, and Sam to a “warm home,” or a home of one of the elderly Jewish Ukrainian women who opened her home to all the lonely Jews in her neighborhood to celebrate Shabbat together. Many of the elderly people at the warm home have no relatives and are completely isolated, but they have formed a sort of surrogate family at the warm home. The room really did effuse a certain warmth, and I felt like I was at a Thanksgiving dinner back at home. They prepared a feast for us, with different courses and fresh picked fruit from their gardens. The group all shared stories about the difficult times they endured during the Holocaust and the war, but even after talking about all of their hardships they still all managed to be the most vibrant group of 70 and 80 year olds I’ve ever seen. They told dirty jokes, tried to convince us to move to the Ukraine to marry their grandsons, and even served us some of their delicious homemade wine. They were so excited to talk to us, and even though we don’t speak the same language, we were still able to have a meaningful conversation (with Danya’s help translating of course) that lasted the whole meal.

It really is a great feeling to come to such a foreign place and still hear the same Jewish songs I learned growing up, and to know that I am not so different from my peers here. Even though this trip is going by too fast, I’m so excited for the next few days that we have in Dnepropetrovsk.

Yulia Garbunova

Самое приятное ощущение для человека – это когда ты видишь результат своей работы, и когда этот результат ценят те, для кого ты стараешься. Такие ощущения мы испытали в донецком Хеседе, где помогали облагораживать, строить и убирать двор.

Я смогла попробовать себя во всех видах деятельности – красила детскую площадку, бетонировала площадку под лавочки и столики, косила траву, садила цветы. Было очень приятно, когда каждый участник «Альтернативных каникул» был готов прийти на помощь по первому зову. И результат оказался ошеломляющим! Новая детская и спортивная площадки, почищенный от сорняков и старой листвы двор, свеже посаженные цветы, покрашенный забор, усовершенствованная теплотрасса и яркие воспоминания!

А вечером благодарные сотрудники и клиенты Хеседа устроили для нас праздничный концерт. Я в восторге от того, сколько талантов в Донецке, концерт был – истинное наслаждение.

Отдельное спасибо хочется сказать сотрудникам Хеседа за то, что самоотверженно помогали нам в облагораживании территории, а потом устроили незабываемую «барбекюшку» лучшими американскими хитами за последние 30 лет!

А нам время ехать в Днепропетровск, нас ждут «новые вершины», и новые добрые дела для нашей еврейской общины.

The best feeling for the person - it's when you see the result of their work, and when this result is appreciated by those for whom you try. we have experienced such feelings in Donetsk Hesed, where we helped elevate, build and clean the yard.

I was able to try all kinds of activities - painting playground, concrete pad for future benches and tables, cut the grass and planted flowers. It was good, when each participant of «Alternative holidays» was ready to come to the aid for the first call. And the result was stunning! New children's and sports grounds, yard cleaned from weeds and old foliage, fresh planted flowers, painted fences, improved heating and vivid memories!

And in the evening thanks to staff and Hesed clients arranged for our holiday concert. I am delighted with large amount of talented people in Donetsk, the concert was - a true delight.

Special thanks to Hesed staff for their help us to improve area, and then hold an unforgettable «BBQ-party» with the best American hits over the past 30 years!

And we have time to go to Dnepropetrovsk, we are waiting for «new heights», and the new good deeds for our Jewish community.

Day 2 by Josh Helfgott

Today was truly beautiful. In the morning we divided into small groups and visited the homes of locals who were being helped by the Hesed. My group visited the apartment of an elderly man, Pavel, with a magical spirit. On the ride to his apartment his social worker told us his story: at age 18, Pavel fell in love and got married. Soon afterwards, he was drafted into the military, and his wife left him after waiting two years for him to come home. He then moved in with his parents and stayed with them until they both passed away.

In 1998, Pavel’s life changed dramatically. He was beaten in a robbery and began to suffer a serious brain disease which left him barely able to walk. The thieves stole all of his irreplaceable identification documents and appropriated and sold his apartment, leaving Pavel alone in an abandoned apartment, hopelessly ill. The story is so tragic because Pavel cannot receive a pension from the government, as he has no documents except a passport that the Hesed helped him receive.

When I visited Pavel, I saw a man with a beautiful spirit. He cannot speak but he communicates with smiles and gestures. He was very emotionally expressive with his gestures; he is a warm man. His story touched me to the core of my being. Seeing Pavel’s smile and feeling his energy made me unable to understand how anyone could beat someone who is so kind.

He still lives in the abandoned apartment although the heating and gas have been cut off, as he cannot afford utilities. The apartment becomes extremely wet and cold in the wintertime. But, through the cold, Pavel remains warm with the help of the Hesed. Without them, Pavel wouldn’t be alive: they bring him hot meals every day, give him home care assistance, medicine, bedding to protect him from the cold, and clothes.

Leaving Pavel’s apartment was bittersweet – I wished I could help him more. Pavel deserves an apartment with heat and electricity. He deserves to be loved. He doesn’t deserve to be alone in an abandoned apartment. I am so thankful to the Hesed, though, for helping him stay warm, nourished, and alive.

Pavel is a wonderful man. He has a vibrant smile and a strong spirit. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet someone who, despite the extreme challenges he faces every day, stays so positive.

I’m excited to continue meeting members of the Jewish community in Ukraine. This is my first experience meeting any Jewish community outside of the United States and it has been amazing and eye opening. It’s only day two – who knows what the next eight days have in store!

August 4 by Allison

Today was our first full day in Dnepropetrovsk and what a full day it was! After waking up to a wonderful breakfast of cucumbers, cheese, eggs and yes…spaghetti, we broke up into smaller groups to go on home visits of elderly people and families with children at risk. My group went to see a man named Froim who lives by himself in a semi-basement apartment. He was one of 10 children but now has no family left. He told us stories about his family and what the JDC does for him. Despite everything he has a great spirit and really seemed to enjoy our visit.

We then went to the Dnepropetrovsk Hesed where we learned more about what the JDC does in Ukraine. We even got to tour the building and see for ourselves the many programs the Hesed offers. There was a children’s camp, a club for the disabled and the largest group, the elderly, with whom we got to sing and dance with!

As I write this we are on a bus to Donetsk to visit another Hesed and meet more Hillel peers! After a long day we are glad to take the bus ride to visit with peers and rest. We are all very excited to arrive in Donetsk in just a few hours.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Vova’s impressions

Двухмесячные приготовления к долгожданному проекту «Alternative Summer Break» как с американской стороны, так и с Днепропетровска наконец-то нашли свою реализацию в начальном событии: встрече наших американских друзей с университета “Cornell”. Теплый прием наших иностранных сверстников уже в аэропорту был обозначен украинским колоритом: два днепропетровских гилелевца, одетые в национальные костюмы встречали хлеб солью в буквальном и переносном значении. Каждому из американцев было предложено вкусить кусочек каравая с солью. Днепропетровский ребята сразу же помогли после этого обряда отнести сумки в автобус, который ждал их возле аэропорта, что ни могло оставить след украинского гостеприимства у американцев!!

После сухого повествовательного стиля хочется перейти к более неформально – молодежному извещению своих впечатлений. Во-первых, хочется отметить, что несмотря на изматывающий полет, американские студенты на удивление были энергичными и полны бодрости и энтузиазма!!. Что, собственно говоря, они и показали на общей встрече вечером. Безусловно, нельзя не заметить, что даже вечером у некоторых ребят оставалось еще сил гулять и развлекаться!!! Вот этого мы действительно не ожидали…Сейчас нахожусь в предвкушении следующих дней проекта))

The two-month preparations for the long-awaited project «Alternative Summer Break» as in the United States, and in Dnepropetrovsk eventually found its realization in the initial event: the meeting of our American friends from the “Cornell University”. The warm reception of our foreign peers already at the airport was designated with an Ukrainian tradition: Two Dnepropetrovsk Hillel students dressed in national costumes with other guys greeted American side by the bread with salt in a literal and figurative sense. Each of the Americans was invited to eat a piece of Karawai with salt. Dnepropetrovsk guys helped immediately after the ceremony carry their bags to the bus, which waited for them near the airport. That fact did leave a trace of the Ukrainian hospitability to the Americans!

After a dry narrative style I want to move to a more informal - Youth manner of telling you my impressions. Firstly, I would like to note that despite the grueling flight, American students were surprisingly strong and full of energy and enthusiasm!. What, indeed, they have shown at our common meeting tonight. Of course, I should notice that even at night some guys had liveliness to be more of a walk and have fun! Here, we really did not expect ... now here I am in anticipation of days following the project))

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hi everyone!

My name is Anna (or Anya). I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and lived there for 7 years. Now my family lives near Boston , Massachusetts. I’m 19 years old and entering my third year in Cornell, studying engineering physics. I love traveling- I spent last semester studying in Paris. I also enjoy hiking and having adventures.

Can’t wait to meet everybody!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Erica Schonman

Hi! My name is Erica Schonman. I'm from the Washington, D.C. area, and I'll be entering my third year at Cornell. I study Human Development and Global Health at Cornell. I love riding bikes and listening to music. Much of my family came from Russia and Ukraine, so I'm excited to have the opportunity to go on this trip. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Jacob Bank

Hi All! My name is Jacob Bank. I'm 20 years old and going to be a junior at Cornell in the fall. I'm originally from Madison, Wisconsin, but I've lived in Washington, DC, Northern California, and Haifa, Israel as well. I'm studying computer science at school, and just finished a summer of doing research on image recognition. I love to play sports, especially tennis, and do anything else that involves spending time outside. I've never been within 1000 miles of Ukraine so I'm excited for a totally new experience. Can't wait for the trip and see you all in a few days!

"Before" pictures of Hesed Donetsk

This is what the Hesed Donetsk yard looks like now...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Donetsk volunteers!


Yulia Zharikova, 21 years-old. By education- BA in logic. Leader of the JFC youth club. I actively participate in Jewish community life. I graduated from the seminar Metsudah in 2007. I am addicted to Yiddish dance. I want to participate in the Cornell volunteer project because I love meeting new people; I am very interested in foreign cultures and an exchange of experiences.

Dasha Kozlova. 21 years-old. Student in her fourth year at the Donetsk National University. Coordinator of the project Do Good, Ukraine! in the Donetsk region. I passed through Metsudah: in 2008 as a participant, in 2009 as a madrichah. I adore Odessa and theme parties. I am very demanding of myself; I don’t like to do anything badly. In addition to my desire to improve my English and make new acquaintances, the Cornell mission is for me the possibility to exchange volunteer experiences, which helps me greatly in work.


My name is Zhenia Markevich. Date of birth: 10/26/1980. I work as a blood oncologist at the Regional Tramatorium of Donetsk. I adore motorcycles and everything related to speed. My dream is to buy a sporty motorcycle and tear up the Donetsk Highway. I haven’t participated in Jewish life for a very long time, but I’m crazy about it. I like to spend time with young Jews. The volunteer project Do Good, Ukraine! Interests me and I already arranged my records in order to provide free consultations to whoever desires them. I want to participate in the Cornell mission because for me, this is a beautiful experience to meet with new people and also because I want to do something good for Hesed.

Lika Shkarupa. 7/14/1991. I am studying international economic and business management and psychology. I have been synchronized swimming for seven years; I earned the top adult rank. For four years in the community I have attended the program “Stars” and various JFC events. I want to participate in this mission because I’m interested in communicating with contemporaries from other countries. This is, after all, so cool! I hope that we have a good time and will be of use to Hesed.

Dmitry Anatolevich Neizmailov. 2/11/1985. A native of the city Artyomovsk, in 2000 I finished 9th in my class from PS No. 12. From 2000 to 2004 I studied at the Artyomovsk Industrial Technikum, specializing in “Mounting and servicing of electric equipment of industrial enterprises and civil installations.” I currently work as a lawyer. I take a great interest in light athletics, motor and yacht sports, parachuting, and bungee jumping. I am a ranked as a “sport” and “sand” yachter. I don’t drink alcohol, and I don’t smoke. I have a medium level of English.

With respect, Dmitry

Zhora Khamuza. 20 years-old. Second-year student in the biology department. I love to roller skate, and I play block-flight. I am always glad to meet new people and I try hard to maintain an active position in life – to not be indifferent to others’ problems and to the people around me. I joined the community relatively recently—it all started with Metsudah and the volunteer project “Do Good, Ukraine!” I would like to spend several days with American students because that will be not only interesting for me, but also useful for Hesed.

Name: Masha Shumyatzkaya. Age: 18 years-old. Education: second-year student at the Donetsk National Technical University, specializing in geoinformative systems and technologies. Activities: volunteer with project Do Good, Ukraine!, From Heart to Heart, activist in the Jewish community, participant in Metsudah. About myself: I am afraid to fly in an airplane, and I drink tea and coffee without sugar. I am participating in this project firstly for the pleasure of getting to know new people and also in order to improve my English.

My name is Irina Leshchinskaya. I am 26 years-old. Already as a student at the pedagogical university, I began working as an English teacher in school, which is what I will continue to do after I receive my diploma. In my free time, when not at work, I actively participate in young Jewish life. Right now I am part of Metsudah and, together with other students, am preparing a project, which will begin working already in September, 2009, as part of the JFC youth club. I am happy to participate repairing Hesed Donetsk; additionally, it will be a pleasure to interact with Jewish youth from another country. I will be very glad to help with translating, if necessary!


Vitaliy Sergeyevich Lytzenko. Date of birth: October 1, 1988. City: Donetsk, Ukraine. Languages: Russian, Ukrainian, English. Family situation: I have not engaged in marriage. Education: Donetsk Polytechnical Tekhnikum (servicing computers and intelligent systems and networks), will be completed in 2007. Right now I am in a work-study program at DonNTU FVTI (Computer systems and networks). I lead an active way of life, consisting of varied youth organizations. I love extreme; for example, I bungee jump from a height of 45 meters. I want to take part in this meeting in order to meet new and interesting people.

Anna Pryadko, 19 years-old. Student at Donetsk National University in the biology department. Volunteer with project “Do Good, Ukraine!” I love music, design, and poetry. I want to participate in this project because I love to get to know interesting people.

My name is Sasha Zarakhovich, I’m 18 years-old, and I’m studying at the university to be an auditor. I really love 80s music, Elvis, the Beatles, and Abba. I consider myself a very fun guy. Regarding my place in the Jewish community, I go to synagogue on holidays, to the program Stars, and to the youth club. I wanted to participate because I love the community, I’m interested in how people from other countries live, and I want to know their interests. It’ll just be a good time.

Yana Feiganova, 6/13/1986. Education: Donetsk National University, economics department, specializing in international economics from 2003-2008. While in university, I took an additional educational course, “Teacher Organizers.” Participated in MASA’s “Preparatory Program for Young Leaders in Jewish Countries of the Former Soviet Union” in 2006. Currently a student of psychology at the Donetsk Institute SO, 2008-2010. Languages: a little Hebrew, a little French, conversational English. Activities: I volunteer with the organization “Do Good, Ukraine!” About myself: I enjoy life.  I want to participate in the Cornell mission because I’m interested in meeting new people.

Andrei Shevchenko. I’m 25. By education, I’m a programmer; in life, an entrepreneur. I take active part in Jewish community life. I love to read historical literature and I collect flags of different countries in original size. Right now I am studying English and I think this volunteer experience will prove useful to me.

Anya Yurevna Saprykina, 8/29/1988. I am a lawyer; I studied law at Donetsk National University in the Department of Economics and Law. I volunteer in various forms in the community. I want to gain additional experience conversing with people from out of the country. I am ready to participate in this project for the language practice, to more comfortably converse in English.

My name is Roma Grabezhev (July 19, 1988). I recently received my bachelor’s degree in economic sciences (specializing in international economics). I have been a regular in the community only recently, but now I do my best not to let even one interesting event in Jewish life pass me by. And at every event I conduct journalistic filming. I hope that my accomplishments and skills will be useful for the Cornell mission. Well, that’s all, I daresay. I only add that I have volunteer experience with project “Do Good, Ukraine!” and with a Ukrainian-Polish project. I am very interested in meeting with interesting students from Cornell!

Additional volunteers:

Masha Bkyndu. 22 years-old. BA in economical science. I graduated the seminar Metsudah in 2008. I write poetry. I am interested in making new acquaintances, and for them I want to better my English, since I will be volunteering together with American students.

Taya Pantyushenko. 16 years-old. Future student at the medical university. Volunteer with the project Do Good, Ukraine! I pursue fashion business. I want to take part in this project because I am looking for new impressions.

My name is Zhenia Dombrovskaya, and I’m 18 years-old. I study managing. Among my passions, I can name dancing, which I have practiced already for 14 years. I have been a part of the Jewish community since kindergarten. I went to Jewish day school, and now I frequent the program “Stars.” I want to participate in this mission because I absolutely love the interacting with people.

Ilya Anatolevich Rokun. 12/19/1987. Fifth-year student at Donetsk National University, specializing in international economics. I participate in sports (soccer, tennis, curling), and I’m wild about artistic photographs. I love hanging out with pleasant people, big groups, active relaxation, and my parents. I attend the Donetsk Jewish club. I hope to have tons of unforgettable impressions from this program, make new acquaintances, and on my end do everything I possibly can to make sure the program is completely successful.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Samantha (Sam) Tal

Hello old friends and new friends! My name is Sam and I cannot wait to return to the Ukraine this summer. I am going to be a junior at Cornell majoring in Business. I love to sing and dance, to swim, listen to music, learn new and fascinating things and have fun with my friends.
I am truly excited to return this summer because of how eye-opening the experience was last year. The new people I met and the things that I learned, made me, like other trip members last summer, wanna help pass it on to more Cornellians :). So at Cornell we started the JDC@Cornell which helped us plan and raise awareness for this trip. And now once more I can say "see you in the Ukraine!"

Three new Hillel amigos

My name is Sasha Sokol (which means falcon in Russian). I am 19 years old. Right now i am in progress of pursuing BA degree in Accounting in YU, which located in NYC, NY, USA. I like to meet new people of any color, religion, race, or ethnicity, but my hobby is Jews. I was a vice-president of the Russian Club in Yeshiva University. I want to take part in this mission because of the fact that I am willing to make a difference.

Kirill ”Fat Boy” Matuhno. Age: 18. Graduated from high-school. Loves athletics, nice women, and guitar. Last year took part in ASB project in Dneprodzerzhinsk. People say about me: “Fat Boy is a guy who always takes positive with him.” Alternative Summer Break 2009 is a chance for me to exchange positive memories. And I hope you’ll take them back to the US.

David Tahterin. Date of birth: 21.05.1984. Leader of program STARS (Student Torah Alliance For Russian Speakers). Manager of purchase in governmental company. Leader of Kabalat Shabbat program. Graduated from chemical-technological University (Degree in Pharmacy). I want to take part in this project in order to meet new people and to get knowledge about Jewish life in the US.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dana Lipperman

Hi everyone!
My name is Dana Lipperman. I'm 22 years old and from Westchester County, New York. I recently graduated from Cornell where I majored in Biometry and Statistics. In the fall, I'll be moving to New York City where I will be starting a job as an actuary. In my free time I love to sing and play guitar, and I was in an all-female a cappella group at Cornell for the last 4 years. I have never been outside the US before, so I am really excited to be volunteering in Ukraine in only a week! I am looking forward to experiencing a new culture, and I especially can't wait to meet everybody. See you all soon! Dana

Lauren Cohan

Hey everyone! My name is Lauren Cohan, and I'm returning member of the group from Cornell last year! I am 20 years old from Syosset, New York and am studying labor relations at Cornell. Last year was a life-changing experience, and I can't wait to go again, see my old friends, and observe the change that has occurred in Dnepropetrovsk over the past year. In the past year, JDC at Cornell has successfully hosted events like Vodka and Latkes and two Ukrainian Shabbats to help raise money for the Adopt-A-Babushka Campaign. I look forward to watching a new group of Cornell students be inspired by the JDC in Ukraine.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Carolyn Spiro

Hi guys!
My name's Carolyn and I am going to be a junior this year at Cornell studying Human Development. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York which is where I have spent the summer working at a finance office as well as substitute teaching at a school for hearing-impaired pre-school kids. I'm very interested in clinical psychology and plan to obtain a doctorate degree after I graduate. I love to travel and I am so excited to visit Dnepropetrovsk and to meet you all! I have never been to Eastern Europe before (which is where most of my family came from) so I am really looking forward to experiencing Ukrainian culture and seeing new things.

Also feel free to e-mail me before the trip- my e-mail is

Can't wait! See you all in a week.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rachel Harris

My name is Rachel Harris, and I’m 21 years old. I’m originally from Westchester County, which is just outside of New York City. I graduated from Cornell in May with a degree in Human Development and Spanish, and in the fall, I’m going to law school at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Some interesting facts about me: I love acting & performing, running, sushi, Thai food, hot sauce, and horseback riding. I also love traveling and going on adventures- I spent my junior year studying abroad in Seville, Spain, and after Dnepropetrovsk, I’m flying directly to Israel!

I can’t wait to meet all of you and learn about your culture and interests. Feel free to email me before the trip!

See you soon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lindsey Cohen

Hi everybody! My name is Lindsey. I'm 19 and I'm from New Jersey. I'm going to be a sophomore at Cornell studying atmospheric sciences. Some things I enjoy are running, sushi, thunderstorms, and volunteer work. I'm really excited to go to Ukraine in two weeks. Not only have I never been overseas before, but I can't wait to make a difference, explore the country, and meet everybody and learn about life in Ukraine! I can't wait to meet you all really soon.

Alison Drais

Hi everyone! Im so excited to be a part of my first ever "blog experience"
Im really not sure what one writes about on a blog. I guess I'll start by
saying that I'm graduating from Cornell this semester with a degree in
animal science and education. I really have no plans after that, but I
know I dont want to grow up and go out into the "real world". Maybe Ill
just go to school some more. Im an VERY excited about the upcoming trip
to the Ukraine and to be a part of another great Jewish service trip. I
went to Argentina last spring break and made some great connections and
did some awesome projects for a community and I cant wait to do the same
in another area of the world. Anyway, I guess thats all Ill say about
myself for now...cant wait to meet everybody! See you soon! Alyson