Following the escalation in rocket attacks on southern Israel, the WZO brought hundreds of schoolchildren from the south to Jerusalem, where they will have a good time, tour the city and enjoy some quiet. The students, from grades 1-12, will explore the city with a guide to accompany them. Among the places the students will visit are the Knesset, the Western Wall, Mount Scopus and more. The young visitors from the South will also visit the WZO’s Herzl Museum and Educational Center, located on Har Herzl (Mt Herzl).
Additionally, for those who can’t make it to Jerusalem, the WZO and its daughter-company Tarbut L’Yisrael (Culture for Israel), have sent performing artists to southern communities to try to help relax the residents as much as possible while they seek protection in bomb shelters. Tarbut L’Yisrael has been in continuous contact with cultural activities coordinators throughout the year and especially during these times of distress. With funding from the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the WZO and Tarbut L’Yisrael made preparations and have sent performing artists to help relax the southern residents as much as possible and make their lives even a little bit more pleasant.
According to Gusti Yehoshua-Braverman, Head of the WZO’s Department for Diaspora Activities, “With the renewed eruption in southern Israel, and the repeated nonstop rocket attacks on the south’s residents, this department and the WZO’s Herzl Center ask to strengthen the hands of the Israel Defense Forces’ soldiers, its commanders and the south’s residents. We are happy to host the south’s residents and children at the Herzl Center and hope that these activities will be significant, even a little calming and allow them to enjoy a bit of happiness.”
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Many of the stricken communities have been the focus of AZM’s Purim Connection drives in the past. Thus, AZM feels a special affinity and concern for those living under this stress. AMIT, one of AZM’s member organizations and a part of the World Zionist Organization runs many of Israel’s school and is closely monitoring the situation.
Thousands of AMIT students in Beersheva, Ashkelon, Sderot and Kiryat Malachi remained home today from school as hundreds of rockets continue to be fired from Gaza into southern Israel for a fourth day. On Sunday, a Grad missile struck the AMIT Hazon Ovadiah Elementary School in Beersheva, which thankfully was empty. Additionally, a rocket fell very close to the home of an AMIT Beersheva student. The principal of her school has been in close contact with the family.
Most families in the affected area are sleeping in bomb shelters at night, and heavy damage has been reported to buildings and vehicles. As in the past, AMIT has quickly responded with a variety of special services to its students, including offering classes and distance learning via the internet. You can learn more about AMIT and help them provide these services.
Wherever you are, whatever your resources you can help the people in southern Israel.
- Keep informed about the situation Don’t be afraid to speak up with your friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Tell them what is going on in Israel
- When you see media imbalance, don’t be silent. Send a letter to the editor; call-in to talk radio programs; know the facts and speak your mind (don’t antagonize –inform and educate)
- And please, contribute to efforts on behalf of Israel’s citizens in the south of Israel.