The outreach team ran 3 updates via Zoom for our partners abroad about the situation on the ground.
The first update was May 13th, where Dror Israel members shared raw feelings and experiences from the violence that had just erupted. A member of Dror Israel’s Educators’ Kibbutz in Sderot spoke about the nights of sirens and running to shelters and protected rooms while simultaneously checking on students and program participants. He shared the fear, the way life re-organizes itself around the emergency, his reasons to keep living in Sderot, and his continuing hope for peace and concern for the residents of Gaza. A member of the Eshbal Educators’ Kibbutz and teacher at the Social High School shared that his bus (of mostly Arab riders, aside from himself), was attacked by a Jewish mob on his way home from school. A member of the Akko Educator’s Kibbutz told the participants about the riots in Akko that came almost to the doorstep of the new kibbutz building and caused so much damage to the city’s beloved old city. 70 participants attended the update.
A week later on the 19th, Roni Finkelstein, a member of Dror Israel's Educator's Kibbutz in Ashkelon spoke about her experiences running activities for children in city shelters during the rocket attacks from Gaza, and about her feelings of responsibility over the city despite the violence, and despite her mother's offer to stay at her quiet home in the north. Mariam Awad, a teacher and former senior leader in the youth movement’s Arab branches, spoke about the feelings in Arab society during the time of the violence, and about inequalities between sectors in Israel’s education system. After asking the week previous for participants to bring friends, 150 people attended this second update – a showing that really warmed the hearts of the speakers as the participants demonstrated and stated their concern and solidarity for Israel and for Dror Israel.
Mariam Awad and Roni Finkelstein tell about their experiences
The last update, on the 25th, we gathered again to update our partners about what we expect to do as a response to the violence now that there was a ceasefire. Mirit Sulema, a member of the Educator’s Kibbutz in Akko talked again about her experience during the riots, the feeling in the city as its citizens try to heal, and the kibbutz’s plans to respond through education and community programs. Gilad Perry, member of the Eshbal Educators’ Kibbutz, expressed support and solidarity for Jewish communities abroad in the face of recent anti-Semitic attacks.
We would like to thank all our partners and friends for their unwavering support and partnership.