Derech Eretz is an Israeli leadership programme established in 2011 for underprivileged youth supported by JNF UK.
Since October 7th, 200 Israeli youth in 5 cohorts of the programme in the Negev have markedly increased their volunteering work in response to the crisis to help the country.
They have assisted farmers with picking and planting crops, provided support in educational settings for displaced communities at several locations, and organised respite activities for local communities. These include sports events, community Kabbalat Shabbat and after-school activities for children.
Youth participating in the programme have also been advocating for the return of the remaining hostages. They’ve been running to raise awareness, putting up signs, and visiting sites where the hostages’ families gather to show support. Each morning, one participant talks about a hostage, and they listen to their favorite song which the families have shared with local radio stations.