The story of Zanna from Cleveland, who came to Israel for a Masa gap year program and volunteered in Lasova’s soup kitchen in Tel Aviv.
My name is Zanna Lewkowicz. I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio but am currently living in Tel Aviv, Israel on a Masa gap year program called Aardvark Israel. One of the great opportunities that Aardvark provides to its students is the ability to volunteer and intern at many different companies.
I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to volunteer at an organization called Lasova. Lasova is a non-profit organization that provides multi-services to the needy such as a soup kitchen, homeless shelters, or youth centers. I had the privilege to work in the soup kitchen section which was designed to look more like restaurant, rather than a normal cafeteria looking environment, hoping to give off a more friendlier and welcoming atmosphere.
During my volunteering, I helped in the kitchen by preparing meals for the day by cutting up vegetables and labeling non-perishables. Though I was not in the main area where all the action was happening, I still felt like I played an important role and helped make a difference by preparing foods quicker and helping the distribution of food flow easier.
I have worked in many soup kitchens throughout the previous years, but no other soup kitchen really impacted me the way Lasova did. In my past experiences, most soup kitchens seemed very depressing and had an unfriendly atmosphere, making guests feel ashamed to be in need of food and services. Lasova, on the other hand, tries very hard to be different by, for example, setting the tables and food up to look nicer, line in a restaurant, hoping to give off a more friendlier and welcoming environment. Volunteers serve their guest in a happy manner and clean up the tables when needed to keep the appearance of a restaurant styled environment.
Lasova puts people's feelings into consideration, making them different from most soup kitchens, by trying to make all guests happy and unashamed to be where they are, which is a very important concept to me. Lasova's guests are excited and happy to come visit and eat since they can talk to one another and eat in a positive atmosphere, making their lives happier one day at a time.
To be part of something this amazing and impactful to the less fortunate is very meaningful to me and really opens my eyes to the acts that one can do to help those in need making their lives friendlier and happier.