AZM’s Sderot “Yom Kef”
Bringing Zionist Cheer to Sderot’s Children
For the second year, AZM is organizing Yomei Kef to reach out to families in Israel’s south. These Israelis have suffered greatly from living under an unyielding barrage of Qassam rocket fire for the last five years. Working through the WZO Department for Zionist Activities, AZM’s Yomei Kef – days of fun – provide a reprieve from the constant tension, with an itinerary featuring enrichment as well as fun.
On July 23, 2008, six buses full of Sderot residents briefly left the sirens, rockets and bomb shelters behind thanks to AZM’s Yom Kef. The program enabled 300 Sderot residents – including single-parent families, new immigrants and Ethiopians, all living in unimaginable fear – to experience some rest and peace. They visited the Shfayim water park and participated in an arts and crafts session, where they drew pictures on fabric reflecting their lives in Sderot.
On August 25th, a second Yom Kef brought 200 Shaar Negev residents to Jerusalem for a day of family enrichment at the City of David, Time Elevator, and the Herzl Museum. Participants were also treated to a barbeque, Israeli dancing and a singer in the courtyard of the JAFI/WZO building, and Dr. David Breakstone, head of the Department for Zionist Activity of the WZO, addressed the group.
AZM’s Yomei Kef are especially meaningful to the children, who have not even been able to go outside to play, a constant tension which has caused post-traumatic stress, trauma, and other long-term problems.
AZM thanks all the generous supporters who helped make this happen, and would like to recognize AMIT, Baltimore Zionist District, Australian Zionist Federation, Mercaz, B’nai B’rith, Westchester (NY) Reform Temple, the New Orleans Israel@60 Committee, the Ben and Esther Rosenbloom Foundation, and all the individual donors for their generous contributions.