July 4, 2007 / 18 Tammuz 5767
As part of its efforts to help the beleaguered town of Sderot and the Gaza perimeter communities, the Jewish Agency brought three Federation heads to visit the area on June 28: Stephen Hoffman from Cleveland, Steven Nasatir from Chicago and Marc Terrill from Baltimore.
At the community center they received an in-depth briefing from the community center director, Avi Suleimani, on the security situation in Sderot and the plight of the residents under the continuous Kassam barrage. They saw for themselves one of the center’s rooms which was seriously damaged by a rocket, and visited the memorial at the site that two children were killed by a direct hit. Likewise, they viewed the collection of Kassam missiles housed at the local police station and the emergency center established by the Jewish Agency. From Sderot, the contingent moved on to Kibbutz Nir-Am, where the kibbutz secretary gave them a tour by of the fortified kindergarten, and they also met the head of the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, Alon Shuster. Next stop was the Jewish Agency's Ibim Youth Village, where they chatted with two participants in the Kedma program.
The last point on their itinerary was the Yigal Allon School, where they had the most unpleasant experience of a "red alert" for Kassam missiles. They could sense the dread and panic of the school students. Fortunately, the missile did no damage but it definitely left a deep and lasting impression on the memories of the three distinguished guests.
Though not all of us can visit the communities of Sderot and the Gaza perimeter for face-to-face contact, we can gain understanding from the experiences of those who do. The Jewish Agency is proud to contribute to Jewish solidarity with the citizens of Israel. To be part of that solidarity, click here to donate now.
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