Classes probably won't start on time this year for thousands of children who live in Israel's southern region. Constant rocket and mortar attacks have made parents determined not to send their children out on the streets – let alone into unfortified classrooms – without an assurance they will be safe.
In Ashkelon, a citywide parents' committee already decided last week that the start of the public school year would have to be delayed, pending further security arrangements.
In Sderot, classes are also closed, although city officials said school is delayed due to “budgetary issues.”
Nevertheless, the Chabad-Lubavitch emissary to Ashkelon, Rabbi Menachem Lieberman told Arutz Sheva in telephone interview that classes for the Chabad system's 1,500 children would open on time.
“We think that Torah brings more security,” he said. “We get bombed a lot. But both the boys' and girls' schools are up to civil defense standard. We are going to carry out bomb shelter drills and fire drills, just as we did in the United States decades ago when we were young. The schools are all mapped out into zones and sectioned off, and each teacher has their assigned task,” he said.
“I believe that bolstering their faith, and bolstering their knowledge of what to do – giving them confidence, will make the children feel safer, and as a result, more in control, not less,” he added.