February 6, 2008 / 30 Shevat 5768
Students in third through twelfth grade to be taken on trips out of the range of fire during the month of February
On Sunday (Feb. 3), the Jewish Agency began providing one and two day field trips for 6,000 grammar and high school students living in Sderot and the surrounding area, taking them on educational or recreational activities outside the zone which has come under continuous rocket attack from the Gaza Strip.
This latest initiative to ease the situation for Sderot residents follows the recent increase in rocket attacks on the city and its environs and is funded by a special $400,000 allocation of the United Jewish Communities Federations of North America.
The program covers pupils in grades 3 through 12, with third through sixth graders spending a whole day away and seventh through twelfth graders spending two days and one night away. All of the trips are coordinated through the school system with the approval of the Ministry of Education. Some schools choose to send their students on educational field trips to places like Jerusalem and Masada, while others opt for recreational activities, including trips to the Tel Aviv area or horseback riding and other outdoor activities. Several schools even arranged to send Sderot students to Mount Hermon where they take part in winter sports.
This week an estimated 500 pupils will be taken out of the area, a number which is expected to grow weekly. All 6,000 students in those grades will have enjoyed a respite by the beginning of March.
On Monday (Feb. 4) the Jewish Agency arranged for 350 youth from the Sderot area to attend Israel's national basketball semifinals in Tel Aviv. The tickets were contributed by Israel's National Basketball Association.
"The situation these last weeks is unbearable and there is a strong sense of claustrophobia when you can't go far away from a shelter," says Tzipi Eisenman, who heads Jewish Agency activity in the area. "By taking the kids out of the area, it greatly relieves the stress and anxiety."
Meanwhile, the Jewish Agency's Victims of Terror Fund, underwritten by the UJC, continues to provide immediate financial assistance to Sderot area residents whose homes are hit by Kassam rockets. In the last week, from Monday, January 28, through Sunday, February 3, the Jewish Agency has granted nearly $15,000 in assistance to 17 families.
Above: The Jewish Agency for Israel provided an evening of respite Monday (February 4) for 350 youth from the Sderot area taking them to the Israeli national basketball semi-finals in Tel Aviv.
Photo Credit: Azri Samin
Below: The most recent Kassam: A Kassam landed in the house of the Moreno family in Sderot just after 6 pm on Tuesday (February 5) wounding Chani, 14, who is hospitalized. The family will receive emergency assistance from the Jewish Agency's Victim's of Terror Fund within 48 hours.