The home of one 16 year-old student at Ramat Hadassah Szold who lives in Nahariya suffered a direct hit by a Hezbollah missile.The family was not injured but each day the child’s father would leave him to protect the furniture from looters while he went off to perform chores.
Sara Abramovich,Chief Housekeeper at Ramat Hadassah Szold,tells a string of such heartbreaking stories, which exemplify the suffering of so many of the residential village’s children during the fiveweekwarinthesummer.“Wemadecontact with all our students,” she recounts, “and offered to evacuate them to the south. Only about 30 students agreed to go to Nitzana in the Negev. Most of the children were understandably reluctant to leave their parents and brothers and sisters even though this left them in danger.
”Abramovich tells several more stories. “One 16 year-old girl from Kiryat Shmona refused to leave her family. She spent the entire time in shelters and her apartment was damaged by shrapnel. But now she is here in Ramat Hadassah she is clearly traumatized and refuses to go home. Another 16 year old from the Haifa Bay area had two brothers fightinginLebanon. One was injured but they did not tell him until after the war. One of our girls was traveling in a car when a missile landed in a nearby field and shrapnel hit their vehicle.”Michal Stern, Deputy Director of Ramat Hadassah Szold even drove up to Maalot in the middle of the war to rescue a 14 year-old boy who had been left alone by his mother, who herself had been evacuated to Eilat.
“I think almost every child at Ramat Hadassah Szold is suffering some form of post traumatic stress,” observed Abramovich, “but there are probably several dozen who are more severely affected. These children are being treated within the framework of the village’s psychological and social work activities, which take place anyway because most of our children come from dysfunctional families. We also make major use of art, music and other extra-curricular therapies.” Ramat Hadassah Szold was itself within missile range of Hezbollah’s katyushot though there were no hits on the village. However, several staffmembers – Mali Hamo and Ziona Barak who live nearby both had their homes hit by missiles fired from Lebanon.