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After Days of War, Giving Kids a Chance to be Kids

Jewish National Fund Brings 2000 School Children to Biblical Reserve for Fun Day

Adam H. Brill
Director of Communications
212-879-9305 x222
Jewish National Fund Brings 2000 School Children to Biblical Reserve for Fun Day
Tal Moserri, a star of children’s TV in Israel, entertains 2,000 kids at Neot Kedumim.
Photo credit: Michal Fattal

New York, NY: September 10, 2014 -- On Thursday, September 4, Jewish National Fund (JNF) hosted more than 2,000 children, including 1,500 elementary school students from Sderot, on a field trip to the Biblical gardens of Neot Kedumim, halfway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.  

     In Israel, such a day is called a Yom Kef - a fun day. For the children of Sderot, a city of 24,000 located less than a mile from the border of Gaza, the day was a dramatic relief from the tension they live with every day.

     The Fun Day for the children from Sderot came together in just 72 hours another miracle in Israel. So driven by their desire to do something special for the children of Sderot, staff from JNF, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL), Neot Kedumim as well as administrators from every elementary school in Sderot, worked around the clock to coordinate the complex logistics of the day.

     Alon Badihi, executive director of JNF Israel said, “Today was a day of relief for the children of Sderot. We want them to know that we love them. We want to thank them for being there for the Jewish people. We want to send them the message of how important it is for Jewish children all over Israel to keep living their lives and to remember how to have fun.”

     Although Operative Protective Edge is officially over, the children from Sderot, living so close to the Gaza border, have been living under rocket fire all their lives.

     Mark Ifraimov, deputy mayor of Sderot, explained how the city does what it can to provide psychological support to parents and children, many of whom have never known a day free of the fear of missile attacks: “Resources are limited and there is little money for private therapy. So the value of a day like this, where the children from Sderot experienced complete freedom to run around, scream and just be kids, cannot be overestimated.”

     The energy on-site was palpable. Each child’s day was jam-packed with activity. They enjoyed free JNF hats and JNF backpacks, filled with markers and candy. They followed teachers and guides on mini-tours of the Biblical gardens of Neot Kedumim. They learned about Israel and her geography through fun and highly interactive games, led by counselors from KKL. Without question though, the highlight of the day were the famous stars of Israeli children’s television, singing live on the main stage. These performers succeeded wildly in getting the children laughing, jumping out of their seats, dancing and competing for which group could shout the loudest.

     At the same time the older children were bouncing around Neot Kedumim, all 300 of Sderot’s 1st graders were being treated to a special fun day of their own in the 21,000 square-foot secure indoor recreation center that JNF funded in 2009, so the children of Sderot would always have a place to play in safety.

     This special fun day for the children of Sderot was sponsored by American donors to JNF who contributed to the Emergency Campaign that JNF ran during Operation Protective Edge, raising more than $6 million to help the people of Israel through the conflict.

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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.

JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.

JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers.

For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit


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