Faces of The Fellowship: Rivka and Racheli | IFCJ
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Faces of The Fellowship: Rivka and Racheli

Rivka and Racheli, both 16, have been in Israel for a little over a year. They live at Beit Ulpana, a Fellowship-funded boarding school in Jerusalem for more than 100 high-school girls from the former Soviet Union (FSU). Rivka and Racheli came to Israel from Ukraine, and their Hebrew is getting better every day. They have turned into happy, laughing girls who are so excited to be growing up in the Holy Land and learning about Israeli culture. At Beit Ulpana, in addition to receiving a high-class education, they also receive a comprehensive Jewish education. And it’s become much more than just a school for both of these girls – it’s a true home filled with family and love.Since it was established, 4,000 Jewish girls from impoverished countries around the world have come to Beit Ulpana, which is located adjacent to the Jerusalem Forest. Up to 10 girls live together in well-equipped apartments. In addition to studying and participating in extracurricular activities, such as sports, they travel throughout Israel. "These trips quickly connect us to Israel and the holy places. Israel is such a beautiful and diverse place. It has everything – the desert, the sea, and even snow. Growing up in Jerusalem is a privilege in itself,” Rachel said.Despite the distance from their parents, difficulties with a new language, the challenges of moving to a new country, and the usual problems of adolescence, the girls at Beit Ulpana succeed in their studies. Rabbi Yitzhak Kalman, the founder of Beit Ulpana, said that 100 percent of the girls receive their college degrees. Recently, Rivka and Racheli went back to Ukraine to meet with young Jewish girls like themselves, and they told them about Israel and Beit Ulpana. The fact that these two young girls have turned into ambassadors for Israel is truly amazing!


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