BRINGING RELIEF AND SUPPORT TO THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL

SPECIAL FOR THE AJT

With an overwhelming number of Israelis traumatized from running in and out of air raid shelters, ORT’s operational arm in Israel, World ORT Kadima Mada, immediately responded to the emergency situation, mobilizing to provide educational and recreational activities for children in shelters and a respite for families in some of the worst affected communities.

Families from the south of Israel began heading north last week. These are the first of some 2,000 people for whom ORT is providing respite at the youth village of Hodayot. Nearby, educational programs have been organized at Mada Park, at World ORT’s Alex and Betty Schoenbaum Science, Educational, Cultural and Sports Campus in Kiryat Yam.

Left: ORT Kadima Mada’s CEO Avi Ganon joins children taking shelter from hostilities in southern Israel. Above: Youngsters from southern Israel playing at a community center in Kryat Yam, thanks to ORT.

At the same time, through ORT’s Kadima Mada YOU-niversity Centers of Excellence program for Science and Technology, educational and recreational activities are being provided in public air raid shelters for children in Kiryat Gat and Dimona. Special enrichment classes in science and technology, including robotics, have been adapted for the unusual circumstances.

Similar enrichment activities for children remaining in the south will continue throughout the summer months. ORT is committed to providing these programs in Arab, Druze and Jewish areas.

“During this time of crisis, ORT is dedicated to providing educational programming and to ensuring the safety of our students,” said Nikelle A. Klareich, ORT America’s Atlanta Next Gen President. “ORT has always reacted quickly in times of need, and we want our Israeli students and friends to know that we will do whatever we can to ensure that their education can continue even when there are serious disruptions.”

ORT has been asked by the government and local communities to exponentially increase the number of young people in the programs. Funds are urgently needed. The most effective way of providing financial support is through ORT’s partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Your support of the JFNA Emergency Campaign, through its national website or through the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, will support ORT’s emergency programming.

“There is much work to do here to enable Israelis to go about their daily lives, particularly for kids in the south who are living in fear and unable to participate in their normal summer activities. Together we can meet this challenge,” explained World ORT Director General and CEO Shmuel Sisso.

Editor’s note: Marcia P. Neeley is the former Executive Director of Marketing & Communications for UJAFederation of New York. To give directly to ORT Kadima Mada in Israel, please contact your local ORT America office in Atlanta by calling Randy Gorod, Interim Regional Director, at (404) 327-5266, or by email at rgorod@ORTamerica.org.