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Emergency Response Updates- October 17

A sewing workshop in a hotel

Odi Caspi, a Dror Israel educator from Rishon LeTzion, is currently running programing at a hotel at the dead sea for evacuees from the Gaza border area.

“I arrived a week ago to run programming for the Kibbutz Be'eri community that was relocated to the David Hotel at the Dead Sea. In the few days since I have been here I understand that there is a serious need to mend and alter donated clothing that has been brought to the hotel. I know how to sew, so I borrowed a sewing machine and started to alter clothing. A few teenagers came up to me and said that they want to learn how to sew, so I came up with the idea to create a sewing workshop in the hotel. I felt that there was a need for these teens to create, to do something ‘hands on’ and I thought that this could be a great solution.

A sewing workshop for teens evacuated from Kibbutz Be'eri.

I started looking for donations, on the first day three sewing machines arrived. Two of the teens from Be'eri were thrilled that they could start sewing at the same time, they didn’t have to share one machine. They asked me excitedly, how long I will be there with them at the hotel. I promised them that I will arrive the next morning and that we will start working on new projects.

Suddenly this became a busy spot, we set up the table close to where gel manicures are provided (this is the most popular spot for many of the girls at the hotel), so our sewing workshop became popular. I am not just mending clothing and while they watch, they are all part of the project. It is a place where they can ask questions and learn.

Later on in the day, a donation of 5 more sewing machines arrived to the hotel. Now we had a real station, some of the girls asked if I would teach them. I said, 'definitely, that is why I am here!'

Udi teaching a Be'eri evacuee how to mend.

Another “shipment” of donated sewing machines arrived at the hotel, now we have 12! I was unpacking them and trying to organize our station, at the same time was teaching Keren, another teen, how to sew.

One of the teens came up to me and told me that her grandmother, that was killed two days earlier on the kibbutz, also sewed and she thought it would be a good way to honor her if she also learned how to sew.

More and more teens arrived, interested to learn, and just like that we created our very own sewing workshop in the middle of the hotel for everyone to see.

It is a place for conversations, for many generations, a place that demands creativity.

All the beauty of daring to learn and create, together, amidst this crazy time, fills my heart with joy.”

The sewing workshop is a place to create amidst the darkness.

Dror Israel's Mitzpe Ramon Educators Community opened the doors of the boarding school it operates to families of survivors and evacuees from kibbutzim in the Gaza border area and Sderot.

Adina Teibloom, a Dror Israel educator from the Mitzpe Ramon Educators Community, is an counselor at the boarding school in Mitzpe Ramon and is directing the programs with relocated families,

She writes:

"On Sunday (October 8) we began to prepare the boarding school for the arrival of families from the Gaza border area.

We prepared the rooms, and we advertised the boarding school as a place to stay for no cost. Volunteers and families looking for a place to stay started calling me and asking to stay with us, after a few hours no one had arrived and I started to think of other options and then in the evening, everyone arrived.

Evacuees in the boarding school's dining hall.

It was clear that these families had not been outside (of their shelter rooms) for two days and were still shaking from fear and anxiety. But slowly they began to calm down. We provided them with sheets and towels for their rooms.

Youth movement counselors have been running programming for the evacuated children.

The first morning (Monday), everyone slept in and explained that this was the first time they had slept since Friday night.

We are providing them with 3 meals a day and are running activities for the children. We see the kids running and playing outside and simply enjoying themselves. Finally, they have a place to let out energy because they are no longer stuck in the shelter rooms that they were in for two days straight.”

Traumatized families have a safe place to stay and recuperate at the Dror Israel boarding school.

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