In hopes of providing residents of the South with a degree of solace from the recent barrage of rocket attacks from terrorists in the nearby Gaza Strip, the Jewish Agency for Israel took 9,000 children and teenagers out for a day of fun.
The children and their families enjoyed a range of fun activities Thursday, as they remained hopeful that the ceasefire agreement would remain intact.
The Jewish Federations in North America, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, Federation CJA and the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA funded the activities.
Ariella Ben Hamu, a mother of 8 from Netivot, said she thoroughly enjoyed the visit to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo with her children.
“We have all been stuck inside for the last two weeks. It was very difficult for the children. When I got the call last night that we could join the trip to Jerusalem, it was like a gift from heaven. The kids have finally been able to let off steam today,” she said.
Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, joined the children later at the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem.
“The assistance provided by the Jewish Federations of North America and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto Federation, Federation CJA and the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA is a demonstration of the solidarity that Jews around the world feel with the residents of southern Israel,” Sharansky said during the visit.
The Mayor of Sderot, David Buskila, said the trips were “life altering for the participants.”
The event was held the day after a cease-fire agreement went into effect Wednesday night between Israel and Hamas.
Nearly 30,000 children were taken for rest and respite out of rocket range this week by the Jewish Agency.