Voc Ed University
I sat down with Yvonne White who facilitates the Voc Ed University class for Voc Ed and some Voc Ed Ma’avar participants to learn more about the program. Yvonne described to me what happens in the class and then I had the opportunity to sit in on one of their courses. In Voc Ed U the participants are taught about soft job skills. These skills are discussed and coached. Examples of some of the topics are “how do you ask questions at work?” “What are the appropriate topics to talk about at work?” “How do we practice being good listeners?” “What do we wear to our jobs and how are these accessories important to doing our jobs?” We talk about anger management, how to manage stress, and learning the appropriate way to apologize. All of these topics are then acted out to help jump-start the conversations within the class. We discuss goals for the summer and how to go about achieving them by the end of the summer.
At the end of the course, each participant evaluates the class and what goals they have personally achieved, and we reflect on the experience as a whole. We use many of the goals and discussions that we have had over the summer to open the course for the next summer. Yvonne said, “I have seen the participants over the years grow in applying these interpersonal skills that they have learned in our class.” The jobs that the participants in the Voc Ed and Voc Ed Ma’avar program are integral to helping Machaneh Ramah run smoothly. The participants can be found working at the canteen, in the Voc Ed bakery, food prep and dining hall set up in the Chadar Ochel (dining hall), in the Mercaz sorting mail, mail delivery around camp, guest house maintenance, cooking chug, and in the Pinat Teva (nature corner). These jobs really help to make the camp run smoothly and the jobs participants do are a very important part of the daily running of the camp.