The posting below is excerped from 'Baltimore Israel & Overseas', a blog from The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. To read the full posting, and more from a recent visit to Ashkelon and elsewhere in Israel, click the 'more' link below.
Nearly everywhere I have visited over these past few days, I’ve seen shelter rooms. It’s not because they are intentionally shown to me to demonstrate a facility’s security preparedness, but rather they are just another room being used to meet the need for space. The only thing I can say is that it is quite sad that such rooms are necessary.
On my first day here, I went with the Diller Alumni group to the Teen Center. Downstairs on the door to the shelter room were colorfully drawn papers saying “Welcome to Our Shelter.” It was a stark reminder of the conflict with Gaza, but also a demonstration of the role that teen volunteers played during those difficult weeks. Teens through a program called AMEN spent their days playing with young children in windowless shelter rooms so they could have a safe place to stay, physically and emotionally, by planning countless activities to make the situation at least a little bit more bearable.