Sderot Summer Camp Dispatch: July 17 --- Lone Star Guests Visit the Camps i

The Jewish Agency, with funding from the Israel Emergency Fund of the United Jewish Communities, is taking the entire population of 8,000 children ages 6 to 17 who live in the Sderot area out of the range of attack and letting kids do what they like best. From amusement parks to nature reserves, from water parks to concerts, and from touring the country to enjoying recreation with friends, kids from Sderot are having a great summer. (More about the program's funding.)

But why not hear it from them? Come back to this blog frequently to check out blog entries from different camps thoughout the summer.

Jewish guests from Texas arrived on July 17 in order to visit Jewish Agency summer camps in Israel’s southern communities.

The visitors -- Allison Goldman, chairperson Texans for Israel (Christians and Jews), and Yoni Cohen, the Hillel emissary in Texas -- visited Sderot and got down as far as moshav Tzohar in the Eshkol Regional Council. (in the photo at left, Allison is in the red hat, and Yoni is in the blue shirt)

Allison and students from the University of Texas at Austin raised contributions in the major malls near them over the past year, and with the money they gathered, they purchased more than 200 gift packages and games for children on the confrontation line.

The last stop on their trip was a school at Tzohar where the “Bsor” Day Camp takes place. The camp is named after the Israeli region adjacent to the Egyptian border and Gaza Strip where the Eshkol Regional Council is located.

Here the children of the moshavim and the camp coordinator, Orli Amsalem, awaited them.

The event began with the children's capoeira (Brazilian martial arts) demonstration, and continued with greetings and the presentation of flowers and souvenirs to Allison and Yoni.

Needless to say, the kids were not left out and received gifts as well.

One of the mothers, who happened to be there by chance, gave her heartfelt thanks to Allison for the gifts from Texas and for world Jewry’s deep concern and activism on behalf of the children in Gaza perimeter communities. The two burst into tears and your photographer/correspondents did so as well. In the end I managed to establish a telephone link between Yoni and Haim Yellin, the chairman of the regional council, so they could exchange mutual thanks.

This blog entry was written by Ofer Baram, JAFI Director of Community Relations, Israel Southern Region.

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