Respite for children from rocket area

July 15, 2014 by Avi Mayer
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More than  1,500 children from rocket-battered southern Israel participated in rest and recreation activities organized by The Jewish Agency for Israel outside the line of fire.

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky with a recent immigrant from St. Petersburg, Russia, and her two daughters at a Jewish Agency recreation activity for children from southern Israel at the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens (the Biblical Zoo) in Jerusalem. Photo by Nathan Roi for The Jewish Agency for Israel.

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky with a recent immigrant from St. Petersburg, Russia, and her two daughters at a Jewish Agency recreation activity for children from southern Israel at the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens (the Biblical Zoo) in Jerusalem. Photo by Nathan Roi for The Jewish Agency for Israel.

More than 10,000 children and teens will participate in such activities over the course of the week. The activities were made possible by the support of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and are being undertaken in coordination with the National Emergency Authority, government ministries, and local authorities.

Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky met with children at the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens (the Biblical Zoo) in Jerusalem and said: “Thanks to the immediate action of our partners at the Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod-UIA, The Jewish Agency is able to offer a real-time response to the residents of southern Israel.”

Ten-year-old Yulia, a recent immigrant from Ukraine, said: “In the city I came from, I was afraid to walk around outside, at day and at night. Here, even with all the mess, I feel safe. Here I feel that there is someone protecting and taking care of me – the army, the government, and The Jewish Agency. The most important thing is that here I feel at home. Everyone is willing to help out. Everyone is happy that I made Aliyah.”

Sharansky added: “It is both moving and inspiring to feel the mighty fortitude of the people of southern Israel—both immigrants and native Israelis—and the powerful solidarity of world Jewry, which draw upon and strengthen one another. The Jewish Agency is proud to serve as a conduit of positive energy between the Jewish world and the people of Israel’s south and we will continue to do whatever we can to support the local residents during this trying time.”

The children and teens who will participate in The Jewish Agency’s rest and recreation activities this week are in 1st through 12th grades and are residents of the Ofakim, Shafir, Lachish, Be’er Tuvia, Gan Yavne, and Yoav regional councils, as well as recent immigrants from Jewish Agency immigrant absorption centers in Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Kiryat Gat, and Sha’ar HaNegev. They will enjoy activities at the Kiftzuba amusement park; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens (the Biblical Zoo).

The Jewish Agency is funded by the United Israel Appeal

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