The entrance to the volunteer apartment stairwell is just to the right of the blue pole. Our green rental car is seen peeking out between 2 other cars on the right.
The people from the 3 US communities, Palm Springs, and also several of the communities of the Western Region Network, especially Orange County, greatly benefitted from their experiences in town and staying at the apartment. It gave all of us the opportunity to see Israel from a very different perspective. Once one has the opportunity to see below the surface, one can see how warm and personable the people in this town are. The Kocens from Palm Springs made lifelong friends here and are supporting a young Ethiopian-Israeli woman as she has succeeded in raising her skills and studying to be a physician. Adam Schwartz was here with his family in June for almost 2 weeks and said that his experience here gave all of them a totally different view of Israel, one he never got on previous visits, while staying in hotels. One Otzmanik from Seattle (Mindy Goldberg) came back to Israel a while after her program, studied here, and is now working for Yedid in its Jerusalem office. Ira knows of at least 3 others from OTZMA who have made aliya. My husband and I too have been changed by our opportunities to stay in the apartments and volunteer in town. It has not necessarily been an easy place to volunteer but it has always been a heartwarming experience.
In both apartments, the next door neighbors were delightful. Aliza and Haim Elimelech plied the volunteers with food and especially with home-made challot on Fridays. Tami, the current neighbor across the hall who is a widow with grown children and young grandchildren, is very friendly and helpful. For example, she showed me where the fuse box was when our power went off (I had the dryer, hot pot and air conditioner going at once, and it was too much for the circuitry) and I lent her a lighter when her matches were wet and she couldn't start her gas burner.
The microwave, which was donated by the Ellenhorn family of Seattle, is going to the volunteer center, and the refrigerator to the Beit HaRishonim where the Youth Council meets.