My Jewish Story: BH Volunteer Debi Gueron
When Debi Gueron was a young girl growing up 30 kilometers outside of London, she always felt 'different'. Although her family had a strong Jewish identity and kept the Jewish traditions such as High Holidays and Friday night candles, her school experiences caused her to struggle with her Jewish identity. “I attended the local high school and at some point became painfully aware of the difficulty my friends had in understanding how I could be Jewish and English at the same time,” she recalls. “We were 10 Jews in a school of 1000 students.”
Debi, a cherished volunteer at Beit Hatfutsot in the Resource Development and External Relations Department, found that being involved in her local B’nai Brith Jewish Youth group gave her an opportunity to be among Jewish peers. Then, in 1979 – when she was 14 –her brother made Aliyah, and she came to visit him in Israel for the first time. “Immediately I understood that life could be different,” she says, “I felt that in Israel I was the same as everybody else and for the first time in my life I truly felt ‘at home'. “
Debi made Aliyah In 1987, and earned an B.A, and and M.A, in History at the University of Tel Aviv. Today, she is married and has three boys aged 13, 11 and 6.
“Volunteering has always been a part of my life”, she says proudly, “and I am happy to now be able to help out at Beit Hatfutsot as well. I feel that living in Israel it is easy to forget the Jewish 'story' and that it is vital for the next generation to understand this and to treasure the fact that we are privileged to live in our own State. Beit Hatfutsot is a vital tool in this process and therefore I love to bring the children here to show them that not everyone always had a place to call home.”