As bombs and missiles continue to strike at all hours of the day in Israel, the Israeli nonprofit organization Migdal Ohr is focusing its concern on the country’s most vulnerable citizens–its children.
In an effort to help offer children in Southern Israel a relatively ‘normal’ summer, free from the constant fear of rockets landing nearby and having to sprint into bomb shelters, Migdal Ohr has spent the last of couple weeks transporting nearly 30,000 children from southern cities on day trips to recreational safe havens in the North. Children from Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gan Yavne, Netivot, Ofakim, Kiryat Gat, and several more cities have been bussed to Cinema City and the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem, Shefayim Water Park, and other hiking grounds and recreational centers to escape the war taking place in their backyards.
Additionally, in partnership with the Jewish Agency and local soup kitchens, Migdal Ohr has sent over 30,000 food packages to families in the South who are spending most of the day hidden in bomb shelters. These families are not able to go food shopping nor are they able to prepare meals in their kitchens without being pulled from the stove to the nearest bomb shelter. Every week, Migdal Ohr is assembling 6,000 to 8,000 food packages to meet this dire need.
Similar to its response during the Lebanon War in 2006, Migdal Ohr has opened up its 65-acre campus in Migdal Ha’Emek to children living in the danger zone. For the past two weekends, Migdal Ohr has bussed in hundreds of boys and girls to spend inspirational Shabbats and extended weekends at its Northern campus. Normally home to thousands of at-risk and underprivileged youth during the school year, the summer break has opened up many dormitories to be used for these children to stay in for weeks at a time.
Migdal Ohr Founder and Israel Prize winner Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman has called upon his supporters from America, England, and Canada to help him “save thousands of Israeli children from the ravages of war” and is hoping to raise $1,000,000.00 to be able to keep these efforts and programs in effect for as long as the conflict continues. Rabbi Grossman has personally been visiting the front lines in Gaza to offer moral support and encouragement to the IDF soldiers. He’s also been visiting wounded soldiers at Hadassah Hospital and consoling families of fallen soldiers. Among these families, he visited the widow and four young children of Sgt.-Maj. Rami Kahlon, age 39. This Migdal Ohr alumnus was tragically killed last week on the frontlines in Gaza.