Send your Pesach support to the rocket-stricken town of Sderot

Join Arutz Sheva as we visit a unique community center that aims to help teens growing up in the shadow of Gaza's rockets.

Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 11:04 AM

Meir Panim center in Sderot
Meir Panim center in Sderot
Yoni Kempinski

Arutz Sheva visited the Meir Panim Youth Center in Sderot, where teenagers in grades 7-12 can both unwind and learn to become leaders in their rocket-stricken community. During the visit, Meir Panim staff members distributed Matzah for the local families.

Click here to give $1 a day to feed a child

Eliyana, a Sderot resident, explained the significance of the Meir Panim Youth Center, "This center is really a nice place, we have fun in here... Sometimes we have rough times and we need this get free from all this rough stuff."

Sometimes, she said, they need to "sit all day in shelters. One week I didn't shower for three days, just because I was scared to go to the shower. I was just like showering for two seconds and then running to the shelter."

"It's great that this is a shelter because when there's rockets and like sirens outside, we can be here and have fun."

Kobi Ben Yisrael, who works as a counselor at the center, explained: "What we do here is offer them a 'second home,' a place where they can come, play, share, and relate openly to personal issues as part of the activities we offer them."

"Day-to-day life is not easy here. The youth experience traumas, one after the other."

Mimi Rozmaryn, who serves as Meir Panim's Director of Global Development, summed up the main issue: "Sderot is an amazing city in a very bad neighborhood. They're Gaza-adjacent, we're right on the periphery next to the Gaza Strip, and the municipality really needed a place for teens to go where they could be themselves, have fun, [and] be in a safe contained environment."

"This whole building is a bomb shelter. So there's shatter-proof glass, the parents know that their kids are somewhere safe, and they're learning, and they're building leadership skills."

Click here to give $1 a day to feed a child

As the festival of Passover comes near, Meir Panim is calling upon you to take part and strengthen the activity in the south and throughout Israel.

Arutz Sheva readers are invited to help Meir Panim fulfill its mission of providing a feeling of freedom from poverty, hunger, and loneliness to Israel’s neediest individuals.

"Together, we can distribute 110,000 hot lunches to children, 490,000 hot meals at our Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchens, and 190,000 Meals-On-Wheels to the homebound, disabled and elderly", explain the staff of Meir Panim.

"Just as the ancient Hebrews were delivered from Egyptian bondage, let us do our part to help free those who continue to suffer the scourge of poverty in Israel.
We sincerely thank our supporters for your generous donations to Meir Panim and wish all of you a meaningful and festive Passover holiday".

Click here to give $1 a day to feed a child