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July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Bomb Shelter’

Children in Bomb Shelters

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

School children around the country sat in bomb shelters today as sirens sounded throughout Israel at 11:05 AM as part of a of an IDF Home Front Command drill simulating a missile attack on the country.

There will be another siren at 7:05 PM this evening.

Yup, that’s the kind of neighborhood we live in (but I wouldn’t live anywhere else).

Saving Sderot – One Family at a Time

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Rockets make a funny noise when they race to their targets, people say. It’s a kind of whistle that lets you know you’ve run out of time. It’s too late to make it to a bomb shelter; better find the closest safe space and hope for the best.

People in Sderot know all about that sound, that feeling, but they tend to be very matter-of-fact about it when speaking with “outsiders” — those who have never lived under the constant threat of rocket fire. Most visitors never catch the difference in their voices, that ever-alert look in their eyes. The slightly dissociated expression on so many faces passing by in the street.

Thirteen years of constant shelling and rocket fire aimed at the city by Gaza terrorists, less than a mile away, has taken its toll on the residents of Sderot. But there is a group of young families that came to live in the city in order to blend their strength with the residents and help them heal. To stand together in the face of enemy fire.

“We never really know when the attack is going to come. We had only three seconds in the last war to reach a safe space before we heard the sound of a mortar shell or rocket landing nearby,” explains Odelia Ben-Porat,” one of the group. She is the Partnerships Manager for Afikim BaNegev, the community that created the Reut-Sderot Association, a group that has brought therapeutic and family support programs to the city.

“We’ve had rockets strike our own buildings as well,” she adds calmly, pointing to a fortification roofing that appears to shield the roof of a building framed among desert greenery. “That helped in the beginning when they first installed it – but in Gaza they have improved their technology and this no longer is enough.” So the marathon run to the bomb shelters is still mandatory. An entire city is still on the run.

Even now, in a period of “calm,” people in Sderot live in a kind of limbo, a state of suspended animation where they hold their breath waiting for the next attack, Ben-Porat says. During periods of escalation, as many as 50 missiles and mortar shells were fired at the city in one day alone.

“People live in fear. The children are raised in an atmosphere of insecurity, uncertainty and anxiety. Those families who could – usually those with better education and better finances – picked up and left. This has left Sderot without well-to-do young local volunteers and local leadership,” Ben-Porat explains.

To counter this ‘brain drain’ – and the crushing poverty that comes along with it – two decades ago 10 ambitious young families organized themselves into a core group, or “garin.” They named their little community “Afikim BaNegev” and moved to Sderot to volunteer their services in Israel’s periphery.

That was in 1993. In 2014, Afikim BaNegev has grown to 340 families.

The Reut-Sderot Association operates more than a dozen therapeutic and community support programs to help local families get back on their feet and stay there.

Among the programs run by the group are the Reut Clubhouses for At-Risk Children, which provides hot meals, social skills activities and supportive counseling five days a week. They are run by professional staff who serve 57 children ages 6-13 in four after-school centers.

Afikim BaNegev 3

Reut Sderot’s Psycho Trauma Therapy program provides expressive arts therapy such as art, dance, music and movement therapies to approximately 53 children ages 6-13 who live in “disturbing family environments” and also have been directly affected by rocket attack-related trauma. Therapy is provided by on-site creative expression therapists within the environment of larger therapeutic centers for at-risk children.

Four years ago the organization created the Young Afikim group to build up the next generation’s leadership. At present, 90 members of this group, including numerous young families, are committed to living in Sderot and revitalizing the city. They have moved into old and neglected apartment blocks in the more disadvantaged “Neve Eshkol” and “Nir Am” neighborhoods.

Afikim BaNegev 2

Following the death of a young child, a special Emergency Team trained by a clinical psychologist was also established to provide on-the-spot support in the form of crisis intervention. Ben Porat says the group is working towards being able to purchase medicine for sick children or provide financial aid for families in an emergency.

The City of Sderot and State of Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Infrastructure (MICI) are also lending their support, particularly in providing funding and licensing to the Afikim Day Care Center, which cares for some 150 children ages 3 months to 3 years old, while their parents are at work or school.

Even in summer, when many Israeli children are forced to fend for themselves, at least 57 Sderot children most “at risk” are provided with scholarships to attend four weeks of “Bravo” Summer Camp. The project, named in honor of Steven and Irene Grossman, ensures that the children most traumatized by living “on the edge” are distracted by activities most Western children would consider to be “simply normal.”

The average Israeli teen enters the Israel Defense Forces at age 18, after completing high school. But for some teens, it’s not that simple – particularly for those who are unable to learn properly due to being repeatedly traumatized by terror attacks. Reut-Sderot’s Lapidot Preparatory College provides a project that serves 17 young women ages 18-20 from Israel’s periphery, within the framework of the compulsory National Service they serve instead of military duty. The project, based in Sderot, includes various community volunteer activities during the morning hours, and studies in the afternoons and evenings, with the girls preparing and serving their own dinners. Upon graduation the girls are encouraged to seek further academic studies and employment within their fields of interest.

Reut-Sderot also provides hundreds of needy low-income families with food and clothing vouchers at holiday time each year. As in many communities in Israel’s periphery, there are many who would otherwise be unable to celebrate the holidays with a proper meal.

The organization does not carry out all these programs alone, Ben-Porat emphasizes. “We cooperate with a number of partners and are fortunate to have the support of others as well,” she notes. Some of those include the Sderot municipality, UIA Canada, Mizrachi Canada, State of Israel government ministries and agencies, Young Israel of Woodmere, and several foundations and private donors. “New partners mean the ability to stretch our resources and help more people,” she adds. “The more people involved in our work, the more we can do.”

Odelia Ben-Porat and the Reut-Sderot Association can be reached at 972-50-672-8204, or by email at: odeliab@reut-sderot.org.il .

Updated: Kiryat Shmonah Bomb Shelter Instructions

Monday, August 25th, 2014

12:35AM UPDATE: After consulting with the IDF, the Kiryat Shmona municipal council has decided against opening public bomb shelters and requesting for the public to stay in shelters.

11:26pm The IDF has not yet given any instructions regarding the security situation in Northern Israel.

The Kiryat Shmonah municipality has taken the initiative and requested that all residents stay in protected areas, and that all public bomb shelters be opened.

Live Updates: Hamas Resumes Rocket Attacks at Dawn (Latest Update: 7:28 am)

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

07:28 Ashkelon Coast, Gaza Belt, Asheklon, Nitzanim

07:22 Yad Mordechai

06:46 Eshkol

06:41 Kiryat Malachi

06:31 Eshkol, Ashkelon Coast

06:29 Ashdod, Ashkelon

06:27 Kiryat Malachi

06:27  Eshkol

06:24 Kibbutz Be’eri

00:20 Jerusalem

00:02 Kiryat Malachi

00:01 Eshkol

11:56pm Lachish, Beit Guvrin

11:52pm Multiples: Ashdod, Be’er Tuvia, Shafir, Ein Tzurim, Orot, Kiryat Malachi, Kidron

11:50pm Eshkol, Kerem Shalom, Ir Ganim, Ashkelon

11:30pm Ashkelon, Ashkelon Coastal region, Zikkim, Karmiya, Ir Ganim

10:57pm Ashkelon

10:56pm Ashdod, Eshkolot, Nitzan, Nitzanim

10:55pm Ashkelon, Ashdod, Nitzan, Nitzanim, Be’er Ganim,

10:30pm Nahal Oz, Alumim, Sha’ar HaNegev, Eshkol

9:04pm Abu Ghosh, Aminadav, Telz Stone, Beit Shemesh, Beit Meir, Tzur Hadassah

8:18pm Kfar Maimon

8:18pm Kfar Maimon

8:18pm Kfar Maimon

8:18pm Nachal Oz

8:04pm Eshkol

7:36pm Eshkol

7:35pm Eshskol

7:29pm Ashkelon, Hof Ashkelon

7:29pm Ashdod, Ashkelon, Hof Ashkelon

7:28pm Ashdod, Nitzanim, Givati

7:28pm Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ashkelon / Nir Yisrael, Nitzanim, Givati

7:28pm Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ashkelon / Nir Yisrael, Nitzanim

7:28pm Ashkelon, Ashkelon / Nir Yisrael, Nitzanim

7:19pm Nachal Oz

7:09pm Negev

7:08pm Eshkol, Negev

7:08pm Eshkol

6:55pm Nachal Oz

6:38pm Nachal Oz

6:28pm Ashkelon

6:28pm Zikim / Carmiya, Ashkelon

6:10pm Kissufim

6:09pm Kissufim

6:00pm Kissufim

5:27pm Erez

5:27pm Gaza perimeter/Sderot, Erez

5:27pm Gaza perimeter/Sderot

5:17pm Gaza perimeter/Sderot, Erez, Miflasim

5:13pm Gaza perimeter/Sderot, Erez

5:13pm Sderot, Sapir, Erez

5:00pm Beeri

4:48 pm Rocket alert Shaar HaNegev – Cows killed in barn by rocket.

4:42 pm Rocket alerts Shaar HaNegev

4:12pm Kfar Maimon, Nachal Oz

4:12pm Kfar Maimon, Nachal Oz, Kfar Aza / Saad

4:06pm Gaza perimeter/Sderot

3:59pm Nir Oz / Ein HaShlosha

3:58pm HaShlosha

3:51pm Ashkelon, Ashkelon

3:51pm Ashkelon

3:50pm Ashkelon, Ashkelon

3:50pm Ashkelon

3:47pm Nachal Oz

3:35pm Nachal Oz

3:20pm Nachal Oz

3:11pm Zikim / Carmiya

3:11pm Zikim / Carmiya

3:11pm Givati

3:10pm Ashkelon / Nir Yisrael, Givati

3:10pm Be’er Tuvia / Kiryat Malachi, Masaot Yitzchak, Ashkelon / Nir Yisrael, Givati

3:10pm Be’er Tuvia / Kiryat Malachi, Masaot Yitzchak, Givati

3:10pm Be’er Tuvia / Kiryat Malachi, Masaot Yitzchak

3:05pm Zikim / Carmiya

2:36pm Yad Mordechai / Netiv HaAsrah

2:36pm Erez, Yad Mordechai / Netiv HaAsrah

2:36pm Erez

2:36pm Yad Mordechai / Netiv HaAsrah, Erez

2:36pm Yad Mordechai / Netiv HaAsrah

2:35pm Kerem Shalom, Kerem Shalom

2:34pm Gaza perimeter/Sderot

2:24pm 08-24-2014 Otef Aza – Avshalom, Dekel, Pri Gan, Yavol, Sde Avraham, Yated, Talmei Yosef, Shlomit, Bnei Netzarim, Neve

2:23pm Nachal Oz

2:23pm Nachal Oz

2:22pm Nachal Oz

2:02 pm Rocket barrage Hof Ashkelon, Ashkelon

1:53 pm Update on Israeli hit by Arab stone throwers in Gush Etzion last night…

He regained consciousness earlier in the morning for a short time, but has internal bleeding in the head.

The coma he is in apparently an induced coma.

He went into surgery an hour and a half ago.

For your prayers, his name is Yedayah ben Orna

1:38 pm Rocket alerts near Ofakim. Iron Dome Interception.

1:27 pm Multiple rocket alerts Hof Ashkelon

1:22pm Yad Mordechai / Netiv HaAsrah

1:20pm Five Injured in mortar strike in near Gaza border community area. 3 seriously injured.

1:05pm Yad Mordechai / Netiv HaAsrah

1:03pm Yad Mordechai / Netiv HaAsrah

1:03pm Erez, Yad Mordechai / Netiv HaAsrah

1:02pm Yad Mordechai / Netiv HaAsrah, Erez

11:41am Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne

11:41am Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne, Givati, Nitzanim

12:56 pm Nachal Oz

12:55 pm Ashkelon, Gaza Border

12:54 pm Ashkelon, Ashkelon, Gaza Border

12:53 pm Be’er Sheva

12:53 pm Be’er Sheva

12:53 pm Be’er Sheva

12:52 pm Be’er Sheva

12:47 pm Be’er Sheva

12:39 pm Update on Israeli hit by Arab stone throwers in Gush Etzion last night…
Despite surgery overnight at Hadassah Ein Karem, his condition has worsened. He is now listed in serious condition.
He is in a coma and on a respirator.

It appears the stone thrown by the Arabs hit him directly in the head, resulting in the car then flipping.

For your prayers, his name is Yedayah ben Orna.

12:13 pm Yet another alert in Ashdod

12:12 pm Rocket barrage Ashdod area

12:11 pm Rocket alert Ashdod

12:05 Rocket alert Eshkol region

11:48am Gaza border communities

11:41am Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne

11:41am Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne, Givati, Nitzanim

11:40am Ashdod, Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne, Givati, Nitzanim

11:40am Ashdod

11:40am Kfar Aza / Saad, Nachal Oz, Miflasim

11:36am Yad Mordechai / Netiv HaAsrah

11:35am Kfar Aza / Saad, Nachal Oz, Yad Mordechai / Netiv HaAsrah

11:35am Kfar Aza / Saad, Nachal Oz

11:35am Kfar Aza / Saad

11:20am Beeri

11:00am Beeri

10:57am Nachal Oz, Kfar Aza / Saad

10:53am Nachal Oz

10:04am Miflasim

10:04am Gaza perimeter/Sderot

10:04am Gaza perimeter/Sderot, Miflasim

10:04am Miflasim

9:15am Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne

9:14am Ashdod, Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne, Givati, Nitzanim

8:39am Nachal Oz

8:39am Kfar Aza / Saad, Nachal Oz

8:39am Kfar Aza / Saad

8:31am Beeri

8:30am Beeri

7:34am Nir Oz / Ein HaShlosha

7:00am Mivtachim, Talmei Eliyahu, Tzochar, Sde Nitzan, Ohad, Yesha, Amioz

6:46am Kissufim

6:32am Nachal Oz

6:29am Miflasim

6:22am Nachal Oz

6:22am Nir Oz / Ein HaShlosha, Nachal Oz

6:22am Nir Oz / Ein HaShlosha

Overnight: Firebombs thrown on Modiin-Jerusalem highway 443 late last night near a few kms from Jerusalem No known injuries or damage.

Rock attack on Israeli civilian car last night near Beit Omar on Gush Etzion-Hevron road causing car to overturn. 1 wounded moderately and 2 lightly.

Do You Think That Was a Siren?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Cute Frozen parody, with Selfies taken in bomb shelters in Israel.

Warning: There are sirens in the video.


Do you think that was a siren?
Should we go down to the Mamad?
I’m never sleeping anymore,

Sticking by the door Sick of this jihad!

The miklat is really smelly The neighbors too.
But what are we gonna do? Do you think that was a siren?
I really think that was a siren.
Okay, run!

Do you think that was a siren?
This time I’m pretty sure.
Yep, there it is, I heard the boom.
Iron Dome, I do presume.
Muqata says its true.

Here, now lets take a Selfie,
With all our friends
Who we’ve never met before!
Only five more minutes.
Wait this is too awkward…
Lets leave now….

Instructions from Home Front Command for All Areas of Israel

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Defensive measures to be taken within the 0-40 km radius, Gaza envelope, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beer Sheva and environs:

When the alert or loud booms are heard, immediately enter the safe room or shelter with the time alloted for your zone.

No meetings or gatherings of more than 300 persons in open or closed area. Gatherings of less than 300 people are allowed with no restrictions.

In the areas of Gaza envelope, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beer Sheva and environs, activities of kindergartens, camps, or day care centers are suspended.

Workplaces, including those not critical – no restrictions.

Shopping centers: according to restrictions of gatherings, no more than 300 people.  

Areas of Negev, Shefela, Bet Shemesh, Shomron, Yehuda, Dan (Tel Aviv area), Jerusalem, Sharon, Emek Hefer, Jordan Valley (40-80 km):

When the alert or loud booms are heard, immediately enter the safe room or shelter with the time alloted for your zone.

No meetings or gatherings of more than 1000 persons in open area. Gatherings in closed areas are allowed with no restrictions.

Activities of kindergartens, camps, or day care centers – no restrictions.

Workplaces, including those not critical – no restrictions.

Shopping centers: no restrictions, except as according to restrictions of gatherings, no more than 1000 people in open areas.  

Rest of country: routine:

When the alert or loud booms are heard, immediately enter the safe room or shelter with the time alloted for your zone.

Meetings or gatherings – no restrictions.

Kndergartens, camps, and day care centers – no restrictions.

Workplaces, including those not critical – no restrictions.

Shopping centers – no restrictions.

Shelter From the Storm

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

It is a sweltering Jerusalem day and I am sitting on cold stone, my arms wrapped around my knees. Mindlessly scrolling through my iPhone, haphazardly liking and commenting and reading messages and waiting. Killing time. I hear the sound of hurried steps and look up- I realize that I am not the only one who chose this spot. A short and slender brunette with smudged purple eyeliner hurriedly walks in and flashes an awkward smile, clumsily fumbling in her purse for something. She leans on the wall beside me so apprehensively that I am compelled to ease her stress by jokingly letting her know that it won’t topple over. She crosses her arms and her legs, taking up as little space as possible. Her eyes flit back and forth. She is nervous. I smile at her and make a joke about being under-dressed. She doesn’t laugh and I realize that this is probably her first.

In seconds, we are joined by an old woman barely balancing on her walker-clearly having done this hundreds of times- she mumbles something incoherent, curses I think- I attempt forced small talk. More mumbling. I laugh, desperately hoping that the incoherent mumbles were some form of geriatric humor. She gives me a blank stare and I realize that she wasn’t being facetious. Whoopsie. I turn to glance out the window, mindlessly tapping on my phone and thinking. Just as I realize that it still has been less than a minute and that there are bound to be more of us, I hear scuffling and the sound of a door scraping on the smooth floor upstairs. The neighbor pokes her head around the corner and makes eye contact, nodding at me. She is holding her boyfriend’s hand so tightly that her knuckles are white, but somehow, other than pursed lips, all of the muscles in her face are relaxed. She is trying to be casual about this whole ordeal but it is obvious that she is anxious. He strokes her skinny, tanned, Israeli arm and pulls her in for a hug, stroking her back and holding her close. A little uncomfortable, I turn back to my phone, feeling as if I am invading their quiet moment of intimacy.

The five of us, an improbable handful of compatriots, spend a few forced and awkward moments together. I take it all in and am suddenly imbued with this weirdly strong sense of solidarity and identity and belonging, but I can see that none of them feel the same. Before I can further dig myself into an embarrassing ditch of attempts at small talk, it is all over and we are free to go.

We exchange sighs of equal parts relief and annoyance and just as I turn to leave, the nameless neighbor looks me straight in the eye and with a crooked smile that is at least half solemn, says “I hope that we do not meet here again”.

Suddenly I realize how ridiculous this all is.

I am sitting in the stairwell of my building. I am sitting in the stairwell of my building with random neighbors and people who were walking down the street because this week Hamas decided that they like me less than they liked me last week.

I’m walking back up to my apartment in my pajamas and I laugh out loud at the absurdity of it all.

I laugh that I have a red alert app on my phone to alert me when there are rockets falling. I laugh that there is an app, like Waze, that will show me where the nearest bomb shelter is. Because the rockets can find you anywhere and the red alert doesn’t care that you have no idea where you are. I laugh that the chilling whir of impending rocket sirens caught me in a heated debate on Israeli politics. I laugh because no one knows the facts. I laugh because it is hipster to side with the underdog, and pictures of brave freedom fighters with Kaffiyehs portray desperation and evoke empathy a lot better than pictures of the iron dome being operated by IDF soldiers with bulletproof jackets and M-16’s.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/jerusalem/shelter-from-the-storm/2014/07/17/

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