January 22, 2009 / 26 Tevel 5769
As the residents of southern Israel begin the difficult work of rebuilding, North American Jewish Federation Next Generation leaders came to Israel to demonstrate their continued support. The delegation visited Sderot, the IBIM Student Village, Netivot and the Ayalim village in Yechini. Below are highlights from their trip.
The delegation witnessed the destruction caused by rocket attacks on Sderot. The Maimon family home was hit by a missile that penetrated the roof and went out through the living room wall. They then crossed the street and visited the home of Prosper Misod, which was damaged by the impact and shrapnel of the missile.
Prosper recalled how he went out to the street right after the missile hit and saw his neighbor Moshe Ben-Hamu bleeding from the neck. He quickly tied a tourniquet with his shirt, keeping his condition stable until the ambulance arrived, essentially saving his life. The Maimon family, Moshe Ben Hamu and Prosper Misod received assistance from the Fund for Victims of Terror.
The members of the group sat and listened to the stories of local residents and were inspired by their courage as well as by the generosity of donors during the war.
They marveled at the dedication of Youth Futures trustees in Sderot, as Shimrit and Adi Ben-Naim, explained how they kept in constant touch with Youth Future participants via telephone, e-mail and text messages throughout the war.
At the San Diego - IBIM Student Village delegation members ate lunch together
with Kedma students, a representative of the Aliyah Department, and the village’s
cultural events coordinator. The hosts presented the distinguished guests with
an overview of the department’s activities and daily life in IBIM under the constant
threat of rocket fire. The group ended its visit by touring the situation room pictured above.
In Netivot, the delegation visited the town’s community center, where a special magic show was held for children from kindergarten through fourth grade. During the show, two prominent speakers addressed the crowd: Talia Lider, director of the Philadelphia Federation’s Israel office; and Adina Young Swissa, coordinator of the Gesher Le Kesher program. They thanked the delegation members and the UJC for their donations, which allowed for various fun programs for the children, including the magic show.
The second and final stop in Netivot was in the "Valium" Center, where the
delegation was treated to a performance by a band of Netivot youth, followed
by a special activity with youth from the Netivim youth center.