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Sep 18, 2023

Youth Living in Israeli Border Communities Enjoy Respite Camp Through Federation’s Overseas Partner


This summer, more than 100 Israeli youngsters ages six to 16 living near the Gaza Strip experienced the joy and relief of summer camp far from the violence and bombings that have become a frequent part of their lives. Organized by Federation’s overseas partner The Jewish Agency for Israel and its Fund for the Victims of Terror, the exceptional camp helped alleviate the children's anxiety through healing activities such as improvisational theater exercises to relieve tension and a trip to the International Resilience Center in Sderot for therapeutic interactions with animals. They also enjoyed traditional summer camp fun, visiting the Ramat Gan Safari Park and the Superland amusement park.

Many children and teens from border communities must cope with the aftermath of terror attacks and ensuing PTSD. The children and their families, officially recognized by the Israeli government as victims of terrorism, come from the cities of Sderot, Ashkelon, Beer Sheva and Rahat. The camp serves as a much-needed respite from the physical and/or mental trauma they’ve suffered due to rocket fire or incendiary devices launched from the Gaza Strip.

“For these children who face a complex reality, including many who suffer from post-traumatic stress, the camp is designed to facilitate their mental coping mechanisms and to strengthen their resilience,” said Ayelet Nahmias Verbin, former MK and Chair of the Fund for Victims of Terror. “The support of world Jewry, through the Fund for Victims of Terror, reminds the residents of Israeli communities near Gaza that they are not alone.”

The Fund for Victims of Terror provides individuals and families subjected to terror with financial assistance. Within 48 hours of a terrorist attack, a Jewish Agency representative visits the victims and distributes emergency aid of more than $1,000. In the ensuing months, grants and services of up to $6,300 are available to those in need. The Fund also extends essential services, including psychological counseling, job retraining and more. Click here to support this extraordinary program and others in Israel and more than 70 other countries worldwide.

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