Helping people endure danger, not escape it

As part of its ongoing efforts to boost awareness of the crisis facing the people of Sderot and other towns on the Gaza perimeter, UJC and its partners JAFI and JDC recently brought editors from American Jewish newspapers to the region, where the journalists stayed with local families, took shelter during kassam strikes, and examined the programs that funding from North American Jewry sustains.

We'll post links to the coverage here so you can see what perspectives these journalists brought home with them.

Today's serving is from Jacob Berkman of the JTA news service.

Federation aid fills Sderot void

Gaza looms large as viewed from Sderot. Credit: Jonathan Levine/UJC
Elsewhere in the world, Israeli and American Jewish philanthropy has focused on removing Jews from endangered areas. But for Israel, the flight from Sderot is troubling -- both militarily, as the country's border could essentially be pushed back, and for national morale, as Israelis see themselves fleeing.

Most of the UJC allocations to the Sderot region have gone to helping the residents endure, giving them respite and offering incentives to others to move to the embattled area...

NAHAL OZ NIGHT: Life on the Gaza border
The kibbutz is hit about three or four times a week, they tell me. When it is, the residents are warned via radio or through a beeper system. The radios also warn them sometimes that the army is conducting a mission in Gaza and that they should be vigilant.

It has been quiet all week, they say. The law of averages tells me something could happen tonight, I think. I warm my hands on the cup of tea and start to shake my right leg nervously.

The radios have even been quiet. Something has to happen. I know it.

ON THE GROUND: The Fundermentalist's posts from Sderot
Definitely worth a read -- the JTA's Jacob Berkman dials back the snarky attitude for a while and pours out an excellent  chronicle of his moving encounters with the people he talks with, lives with, and plays with during the media mission.

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