The stories below are excerpted from 'Sderot students look forward to peace', which can be read in full on the site of World ORT (A UJC/Federation partner agency), which supports the Shikma and Sha’ar HaNegev high schools through its Kadima Mada (Science Journey) program. Click to read full article.
Classes at both Shikma and Sha’ar HaNegev have endured countless interruptions as red alert sirens give students and staff about 15 seconds’ warning to find shelter from incoming high explosive warheads packed with ball bearings and other objects calculated to cause maximum death and injury.
“Many, many times our lessons are disturbed by the attacks,” Tammy said. “And if you are taking an exam, when you come back to the class after a red alert you have forgotten what you wanted to write.”
Lihi Va’anunu voiced a similar problem when lessons are disrupted. The 17-year-old Sha’ar HaNegev student majors in chemistry and biology and wants to be a forensic scientist “like you see in CSI”.
“When there’s a red alert we run out of the classroom into a safe room,” Lihi said. “We wait one minute and go back to the classroom. But it’s very difficult to focus on study after that. We try to, but it’s hard. So when I get home and I feel calmer I study to try to catch up with what I missed in the lesson.”
Yael adds: “When I hear the alarm I get scared for my family. You can’t focus on learning when you hear the alarm at school. Some people are very, very scared. There are school days when there are no alarms but there are also days when the alarm sounds six or seven times.”
Or describes herself as a happy person. Majoring in art at Shikma, her experiences living in a city under attack have inspired her to pursue a career in social work.
“I see how children are reacting to what’s going on in Sderot and I think it would be very nice to help those children, so I would like to work with children,” she said.