January 21, 2009 / 25 Tevet 5769
“It is difficult to convey the utter fear, the terror, and the emotional and physical devastation of a rocket attack. I have been the victim of more than one in Sderot. But I believe that we must be strong. Because if we leave Sderot, the next day we’ll have to leave Ashkelon and then Tel Aviv, and eventually we will have no home.”
Michal Kakoon is the mother of two lovely young girls, a dedicated science teacher and a woman who strongly believes in standing strong in the face of terror. She is also the victim of a number of Kassam rocket attacks.
“The first Kassam rocket fell on our home on August 31st, 2007,” recalls Michal. “I will never forget that date. It was Sabbath evening, and my husband was reading the newspaper in our bedroom when he heard the “red alert” warning siren.”
Many times, the family ignored the alert, but for some reason her husband leaped from the bed and told everyone to run to the security room. As he was closing the door a Kassam rocket fell directly outside their building. “The bedroom window shattered and my husband was covered in blood,” says Michal. “It was a miracle he was not killed.”
Another miracle happened five months later when Michal dropped her daughters off for school. Again, the warning siren sounded and Michal dashed out of her car to find protection in the nearest house. But the house was locked. Michal squeezed herself as close to the house as she could. “Suddenly, a rocket made a direct hit on the house next door and I was thrown in the air from the force,” says Michal, her voice rising as she remembers her fear. “I shouted for help, but no one heard me.”
When she was finally taken to the hospital, Michal was cut and bruised and couldn’t hear in one ear for four months. “Again, it was a miracle I was alive.”
Michal and her family received assistance from the Jewish Agency’s Fund for Victims of Terror, supported by the United Jewish Communities-Federations of North America Israel Emergency Campaign (IEC). For Michal, and many other citizens of Sderot, the Jewish Agency has been a pillar of support for the beleaguered city.
“Everyday I bless the Jewish Agency,” says Michal. “Everywhere you turn they are helping, from assisting terror victims, to providing our children with after school activities, vacation respites and summer camps. It is heartwarming to know that Jews around the world care for us and are standing beside us.”