By Myrna Meyers
“Hey! Would you like to swim with me?” So started my training for a 2 mile women’s swim in the Kinneret.
I emailed the director of the event to confirm the dates and to see if I could join. “Oh my, you’re calling from the States?” she said, with great excitement. This made me feel like an American swimming celebrity, but only until my first 1 mile training swim. My friend encouraged me by saying, “ You are not going to do the shorter distance. Don’t think about it! There are rafts to help you if you get tired. You don’t need to worry.”
Swim4Sadna 2014 is the 5th annual women’s swim-a-thon fundraising event on behalf of Sadnat Shiluv b’Emunah. The swim-a-thon is a personal swimming challenge. This fun, non-competitive platform was developed to emulate the pillars of Sadnaיs educational vision; personal empowerment and inclusion for all. The Sadnat Shiluv b’Emunah is located in Gvaot, Gush Etzion, which is south of Jerusalem. The project helps Special Education children between the ages of 2-20 who fall between the cracks of the school system. The Sadna programs are therapeutic and successfully take the students into a program that guides their entire adult life.
The Sadnat programs include: a kindergarten where normative children learn together with children with special needs, a special education school consisting of 8 classes for children with varying disabilities, aftercare program for all pupils in the school, an agricultural farming program which provides vocational training and employment opportunities, assisted living in communities in Gush Etzion, and “Merchav Meshalev”, a unique project that brings students from other schools to the Sadna for a day of joint volunteering and activities.
Swim4Sadna 2014 will raise funds for the development of a comprehensive vocational training and employment program for the young adults who are part of Shiluv B’Emunah. This employment program will include job training on a variety of skills so each participant can make a contribution and develop independence according to his or her own abilities. This will help us establish a place where the graduates of the Sadna schools will be able to work, meet and host visitors.
I now have a chlorine sniffle and they call me Galilee girl at the pool where I train, but the Swim-4-Sadna event has won my heart. This year’s all-women’s swim is on the 30th of May, across the Kinneret, the lake that is 8 miles wide. I’m relieved to say it’s not a race, (thank G-d). Women of all ages and ability will try and swim the 2 miles, but swimming your own personal best is OK as well. My friend keeps assuring me there are plenty of rafts and water safety support along the way. Thank goodness!
Perhaps you want to help? Go to the web site and sign up to swim with me or sponsor a swimmer. Or if you are in Israel at that time and so inclined come and CHEER! For me, well its back to the pool and See you in Israel, G-d willing.