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Heartland Story: Bet Yatir

There is a compounding effect to kindness. A single act of kindness, compassion, or charity, given freely from the heart, will create a chain reaction of kind acts that spread and branch out, growing stronger with each new charitable act, catching people up in a wave of goodness as each one pays that kindness forward. In the Hebron Hills community of Bet Yatir, the kindness that you have shown to their youth has become not just a chain reaction, but an overflowing fountain of good acts paid forward.

The Bnei Akiva youth building in Bet Yatir was so broken-down that the youth of the community had stopped attending the activities.

The Bnei Akiva youth building in Bet Yatir was so broken-down that the youth of the community had stopped attending the activities.

The youth of Bet Yatir are very active in the religious Zionist youth group Bnei Akiva. Young children attend from ages nine to fourteen, and teenagers in high school act as counselors and mentors for their young charges. But over the years, the Bnei Akiva youth building — little more than a converted shipping container at the time — had deteriorated. The walls were peeling and the windows and doors did not fit their frames; in winter, icy winds had the children huddling and freezing in their coats, and in summer, dust and grime blew right in through the cracks, where it rubbed into eyes and soiled the youths’ pristine Shabbat clothing. Youth participation dwindled.

So when you stepped up to help renovate their dilapidated Bnei Akiva building, the Bet Yatir youth were floored. They couldn’t believe that someone — you! — would be kind enough and openhearted enough to help them. But you were.

Kindness is at the root of every activity at Bnei Akiva. The youth of Bet Yatir frequently give to others less fortunate than themselves, visiting sick children in the hospital and cheering up injured soldiers and veterans with letters and sweets.

Thanks to you, the Bet Yatir youth now have a beautiful Bnei Akiva building to hold their activities and gatherings!

Thanks to you, the Bet Yatir youth now have a beautiful Bnei Akiva building to hold their activities and gatherings!

The kindness you showed to them by helping to renovate their youth building “changed everything,” said Odeya, one of the youth leaders. The kids had always been the givers, never the receivers of kindness and charity. “Once the building was pleasant and comfortable, the kids felt the difference and returned in droves for our activities.” And now, the kindness that you showed to these children and youths by renovating their gathering space will be paid forward to countless others across the Biblical Heartland of Israel.

The renovations have changed the lives of the youth of Bet Yatir and driven Bnei Akiva participation way up. Said Odeya, “What you have done is amazing. It makes such a big difference!

Bet Yatir kids