Sderot Children's Theater to Perform in America

A delegation of Russian-speaking children from a Sderot community theater left Tuesday morning for the United States.

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz,

A bomb shelter at a Sderot school
A bomb shelter at a Sderot school

A delegation of Russian-speaking children from a Sderot community theater left Tuesday morning for the United States. The goal of their trip is to convey to American Jews what residents of the bombarded western Negev are going through. In a series of performances, the young Sderot players will dramatize life under the threat of enemy rocket attacks.

The children will be spending their first month in the United States attending two Boston-area summer camps, one run by the Chabad-Lubavitch movement and the other a regional math camp.

Following their American camp experience, the Sderot children will begin a series of performances for Jewish audiences along the East Coast of the United States. The plays will be performed in Russian with a simultaneous translation into English.

The amateur theater troupe includes in its repertoire vignettes of actual events that took place during the ongoing rocket assaults on Israel's southern towns. One such event they will dramatize is the January 2005 death of Ella Abukasis, 17, in Sderot, who was killed by a Kassam rocket as she was walking home. She jumped on her brother in order to protect him when the incoming rocket alert sounded.

The amateur theater troupe includes in its repertoire vignettes of actual events.

Other scenes to be performed include a typical school day in Sderot, during those relatively calm periods when school is in session, and the experience of welcoming Shabbat during an enemy bombardment.

The project was organized by the Russian-Jewish Community Federation (RJCF) of Boston and is the brainchild of Noam Bedein of the Sderot Information Center and Masha Rifkin, a Cornell student from Boston who spent her internship under attack in Sderot. For more information, contact Bedein at Noam@SderotMedia.com

In a similar initiative, two delegations of Sderot residents traveled to France, Switzerland, Belgium, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Denmark in May and June. The Sderot residents met with European officials, the press and members of Jewish communities throughout Europe. The civilian emissaries, over 40 in all, were to explain their experience of being under siege by enemy rocket fire, offsetting European media reports that have concentrated only on Israeli retaliation bombings of terrorist targets in Gaza. The delegations to Europe were sponsored by the Foreign Ministry, the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization.

Ezra HaLevi contributed to this article






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