Zoe Oppenheimer

Brandeis University


During my semester in Israel, I immersed myself in life in Beer Sheva.  It was a goal of mine to not merely be a tourist in Israel; I took every opportunity to have an authentic experience.  My internship at the D’gania School was an integral part of my experience.  The D’gania School is a school for both Israeli and Arab children that fosters coexistence.  Each class has one Jewish teacher and one Muslim teacher and all of the students learn in both Hebrew and Arabic.  Spending two afternoons each week volunteering with different classes and getting to know the students and teachers enabled me to learn a great deal about life in Beer Sheva.  I would not have been able to learn what I was privileged to learn from these real experiences just from sitting in my classes.  In addition, I felt as if I had been welcomed into the school community, which helped me adjust to living in a foreign city.  The volunteering component of the program gave me great insight into what life is actually like in Beer Sheva.  I am so grateful for this authentic experience.