A HAFTR High school graduate from Lawrence has been volunteering with an Israeli humanitarian project that provides life-saving heart surgery to children from developing countries.
Chloe Rudensky, 18, began volunteering at Save a Child's Heart in October and will continue through June when her year in Israel ends. The organization flies children from developing countries to Israel for cardiac surgery and other critical procedures at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. Since 1995 SACH has provided care to over 3,000 children from Africa, South America, Europe, Asia and throughout the Middle East.
“At Save a Child's Heart, I play games with the children and dance with them. It feels great when I see I have made the kids smile. I enjoy seeing them progress and get better,” Rudensky, a member of Congregation Beth Sholom, said in a release. “Sometimes there are difficulties when I can't understand the language, I usually use hand motions and that works most of the time. One highlight has been teaching the children words in English, especially when they reply back to me.”
Rudensky, along with fellow Long Islander Arielle Nir of Great Neck, are students at the Israel Experience program at Bar Ilan University, where they take Jewish study seminars and undergraduate academic courses at the campus near Tel Aviv. The girls spend their Wednesday afternoons running activities and providing friendship to the children both pre- and post-surgery.
“I am extremely proud of the contribution Chloe and Arielle are making to the lives of these children,” said Israel Experience Director Rabbi Tully Bryks. “It is a great opportunity to give back during their year in Israel."