July 25, 2007 / 10 Av 5767
Until recently, Yarin Amar, Shahf Cohen and Lihi Ouanounou were more familiar with rockets than with rock climbing and were accustomed to hiding out rather than camping out. These three young women, residents of Sderot in Southern Israel, have lived through constant attacks from Palestinian terrorists for nearly half of their young lives. To help these young women escape from the danger and enjoy the summer as children should, the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, in conjunction with the Jewish Agency, founded the “Summer Without Missiles” program, an initiative through which the girls could attend Camp Livingston in Cincinnati, a world away the threat of terror attacks.
“We live our lives going from shelter to shelter and it is no way to live. I am 15 years old and have experienced the kind of things most people only see in movies,” says Yarin Amar, who was thrilled when the Jewish Agency selected her to participate in this revolutionary program.
The girls are not only enjoying the freedoms afforded by their trip, but are using the opportunity to tell their story to their newfound friends and to Ohio congressmen. By sharing their personal accounts, the girls and the program’s organizers in Cincinnati hope to create a new awareness about the dangers faced daily by the residents of Sderot and to encourage others to become involved in the quest to restore safety to Sderot’s residents.
Although the girls must return to Sderot at the end of their summer, their message will remain long after they depart. With your help, the Jewish Agency can continue to support initiatives such as these that help to foster solidarity between Jews throughout the world and to provide a sense of normalcy to children from Sderot who have long forgotten how it feels to be safe. To learn more about how you can contribute to these vital programs, click here.