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Jan 11, 2015 By Jewish National Fund Category: Environment,
Building self-confidence on Israel's nature trails, one step at a time
Ben Freedman. who's in the eleventh grade, is now a Green Horizons guide leading younger children on
Israeli nature excursions.
I'm a father to two teenage boys who are very active in Green Horizons, which teaches kids about Israel's history, geography, and culture through outdoor field trips -- Ron, who's in the the eighth grade, and Ben, who's in the eleventh grade. My wife Inbar and I have seen some remarkable changes in our boys, particularly Ben, and we attribute them to Green Horizons.
Ben participated in the training for young guides during the summer, a crazy time here in the western Negev due to the last Gaza war. It was truly amazing to see the Green Horizons team work together and not give up on the young guides training course, despite the fact that the organization's senior staff members were recruited for reserve duty in Gaza. Through these very challenging days, the course was successfully completed and kids and parents alike were very excited.
Ben came back from the course and took responsibility for 12 seventh grade kids from our kibbutz, Beit Kama (about a 25-minute drive north of Be'er Sheva), and the surrounding communities. Ben leads his students in weekly three-hour activities, plus monthly weekend tours and a three- or four-day tours during the holidays. He is working very hard, and my wife and I are experiencing the empowerment and competence that he is getting from it. It is truly amazing.
|Ron Freedman has become active in Green Horizons.|
Itai Freedman is former development director of Be'er River Park, another JNF partner.
|Ben Freedman and some of the students he guides on Green Horizons outings.|
|Ben Freedman and his father, Itai, who also participated in Israeli young groups as a child.|