May 21, 2007 / 4 Sivan 5767
On Wednesday, May 16th, as Israelis throughout the country were celebrating the 40 year anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, the more than 26,000 residents of Sderot and its environs were under escalating attack. An ongoing barrage of Kassam rockets landed in the city and the surrounding Gaza perimeter communities, seriously injuring a mother and her young child, sending citizens into shock and causing extensive damage to public and private property.
The Jewish Agency took immediate action that evening to take 250 kids from Sderot and the Western Negev to Israel's soccer cup finals in central Israel, out of the range of fire. The Jewish Agency's dedicated personnel secured buses from the Dan Cooperative bus company and tickets through the donation of the Hapoel Tel Aviv Soccer Club. For a few short hours these youth were kids again; sitting in the stands of the Ramat Gan stadium cheering their chosen team and players, eating their favorite snacks donated by Shefa Shuk, one of Israel's largest supermarkets and enjoying themselves without the constant fear of terror.
Delivering essential supplies to Sderot's bomb shelters
On Thursday, as the Kassam rockets continued to fall, hitting an elementary school, homes and businesses, the Jewish Agency brought a truckload of essential shelter supplies, including electric appliances, emergency lighting, and cleaning materials to Sderot and Gaza perimeter community residents. On Friday, the Jewish Agency brought 150 youth from the area for a 'relief weekend' in Jerusalem; the teens stayed at Jerusalem youth hostels and visited tourist and amusement attractions.