“I remember feeling totally inspired. I had never felt so good doing anything in my life.” Dikla (Stanleigh) Weitzner reminisces about her teenage experience volunteering at one of the bone marrow drives that her brother Audey Lior z’l had organized. “When I was in my first year of Ulpana, my brother was in Israel in yeshiva and was diagnosed with leukemia. The majority of my high school years were really about being there for him, the ups and downs of being in the hospital, having a bone marrow transplant – it was very hard. Unfortunately, he passed away before my senior year.” Audey left an impact on many people, including organizing a drive that led to a life-saving bone marrow match for Jay Feinberg, the founder of the Gift of Life organization.
“Audey did so much chesed. When he died, I made a decision: I was going to devote my life and work in non-profit.” Dikla held true to her teenage commitment; she helped start MBT and was the director for 8 years. As director of Moshava Wildrose, Dikla and her team thoughtfully plan for 10 months, to be ready for every scenario of non-stop action in the summer. One of her favorite roles is playing a part in inspiring campers religiously in ways that are easier to accomplish in camp than school (for some children). “But I have to say, Lily, my youngest daughter, she absolutely grows in school. She feels inspired.”
As a leader, Dikla not only engages in informal education of the campers, but she is also responsible for the young adult staff who work in camp. She provides them with tools to succeed in an environment away from their parents and phones. Her fond childhood memories of Bnei Akiva, and of the leadership roles she was given as a teenager lead her to empower her own staff by listening to them, encouraging their ideas and independence.
Dikla is married to Michael and they’ve had 3 children graduate from Netivot. Lily is graduating this year – there are a lot of emotions involved! “I want to go to high school, I just don’t want to leave Netivot,” Lily shares. Past PA President and board member, Dikla echoes that sentiment: “We love Netivot, we’re not going anywhere. We’re here for anything you need!”