Community Israel
October 13, 2021 | 9 min read

“Volunteering is a Part of Me” – the Story of Aviva Bargal

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Aviva Bargal has been an employee of ICL-IP in Israel for over 30 years and has been taking part in the company’s volunteer activities for over 18 years. Aviva meets a variety of age groups representing all sectors of the population, shares her personal and professional knowledge, and supports local communities, transforming the lives of those she meets.

As part of ICL’s deep commitment to the local communities within which we operate, we share the various resources available to us. Our goal is to create real change in the present and an impact for a better future.

Volunteering has become part and parcel of our activity through which we cultivate personal contacts with members of local communities. We provide our employees with possibilities of joining the various activities and contributing of their time, encouraging them to volunteer consistently throughout the year so that their activity results in a lasting impact for them and for all involved.

We enjoy drawing on our colleagues for inspiration, and in matters of volunteering, Aviva Bargal has been especially inspiring. Aviva began her work in ICL in 1987 as CEO Secretary in bromine compounds, and with the passing of years, she advanced and grew both inside the organization and beyond. During the 34 (!) years of working in ICL, she has obtained B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Ben Gurion and has advanced to the position of Supply Chain and Marketing Quality Control Manager in the department of industrial products (IP), and also manages the Master Data of IP in Israel and abroad. In addition to this, Aviva represents the academic and women’s sectors in the bromine compound employee committee.

Aviva began her ICL volunteer work about 18 years ago, when the after-school club volunteering project began, and since then she did not stop for a moment: She volunteered as an instructor to young entrepreneurs, in the Hetz LeHazlaha project of Be’er Sheva’s city hall, serves as an instructor in the Paamonim and Maslan program, and most recently coordinates the Le’aez project in Ofakim. “I am glad to say that my volunteering activities over the years have been diverse and focused both on those who need help and on excellence,” says Aviva. The various activities allow her to get to know the community she lives in and to strengthen her sense of belonging. Aviva is a source of energy, optimism, and know-how, and cherishes the opportunity to effect real change through her activity. She adds: “To know that every activity we initiate can impact society and consequently us, together with the knowledge that this society is large, strong, and financially secure, serving as support for so many people around is an important part of my job which I love very much.”

“Volunteering is a part of me,” says Aviva, “my mother has implemented the concept of volunteering in my life, in her ability to accept people, guide them, care for them and help with different aspects of their lives.” Additionally, the marriage to her husband Sami, a great deal of whose life is dedicated to helping others, combined with the desire to expose her daughters, Asi, Lotem, and Noam, to ‘other’ lives they are not always familiar with – are all a big part of her passion for volunteering.   

As part of the Le’aez project where Aviva volunteers, academic graduates come to acquire and develop effective skills necessary to advance their careers, in ways that allow them to work in the field that is suitable for their education, abilities, and personal potential. The skills are acquired through lectures, workshops, and job interviews simulations. Together with over 10 mentors from ICL, Aviva instructs these young adults who lack experience, from the social and geographic periphery, and are dealing with a limited range of career opportunities and with personal obstacles and social-professional ties.

The program teams up each mentor with his or her best match for close guidance. “One of the most memorable experiences for me was mentoring an amazing girl from Ofakim. We had a conversation where I asked her to describe her female role model and unfortunately, she didn’t have one. She didn’t have a figure she wanted to be model herself on. I wished her to become a role model for the younger generation herself.” 

During the project, Aviva and the rest of the volunteers are themselves role models who guide participants and expose them to new worlds of content, thinking, and conceptual paradigms, and as Aviva has described: “For me, volunteering is about being in a place where you teach that everything is possible. We also teach that you need to work hard to get what you want and at the same time that it is allowed to think big and dream. As mentors, we accompany you along the way and do our best to help dreams come true.” The personal example set by Aviva to her colleagues and family is exhilarating, and to her mind “To be good, compassionate people toward those less fortunate than yourself, not to be indifferent, that is success for me. When my 5-year-old granddaughter asks to buy gifts for the street cleaners from her allowance and wants to leave early in the morning to hand them out and wish them a good day – I am filled with a feeling of pride and success – I have passed on the baton.”

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