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My Dream Israel: Teen Travel Initiative by JNF Fundraising Page

Ava Berman

Ava Berman

I am excited to be participating in the Dream Israel Teen Initiative and raising funds for one of several important projects in Israel. Jewish National Fund is supporting Israel and Israelis in a number of different ways. The money that participating teens are raising will go towards funding several important initiatives: Inclusion for Israel’s special needs population, Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services, Environmental Studies scholarships for students at the Arava Institute and AICAT, and for Project Baseball. As someone who loves sports, I have chosen to support the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center.

As some of you may know, for nearly a decade, citizens of Israel’s western Negev have been under rocket attacks from the bordering Gaza Strip. Hardest hit is the town of Sderot, located less than one mile from Gaza, whose children have grown up with the trauma that comes with living under the constant threat of attack. Things that we take for granted here in the U.S., like an afternoon at the park or soccer field, can turn into a potentially dangerous activity. And even during periods of relative quiet, when reports of rocket attacks don’t make the news, they continue to occur.

To make a difference in the community, Jewish National Fund built a 21,000-square-foot secure indoor playground and community center, Israel’s largest such facility. Since its opening in March 2009, the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center has brought a sense of normalcy to the region, providing its children with a fun place to just be kids, while putting their parents at ease, knowing that their children are playing in a safe environment.

The $5 million center was built in an old textile warehouse and retrofitted with 300 tons of steel. Play areas double as bomb shelters, making sure that all occupants can swiftly reach safety in the event of a rocket alert.

The center, which is visited daily by hundreds, includes a soccer field and volleyball court, movie theater, rock climbing wall, snack area, computer center, and gym. It hosts weekly performances including by clowns and magicians, a disco night for teens, as well as tutoring and homework workshops staffed by college students. Local schools use the center for field trips, special events, and holidays, and day camps hold sessions at the facility, during the summer months. It is also used for community events.

If I meet my fundraising goal, JNF will provide me with a grant towards my own mini-mester studying at Alexander Muss High School in Israel. Please consider supporting this important initiative, and my efforts to meet my fundraising goal.


raised of $5,000 goal

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