ALEH Negev War Journal – A Final Report
Jan 20, 2009
The children are playing outside; the sounds of their laughter echoes through the village after 3 weeks of solemn quiet. What a joy to be here today, to see the simple happiness of the children as they enjoy the fresh air and the clear blue skies, as they roll in the grass and play on the magnificent playground equipment!
On Sunday, the first day of the ceasefire, we welcomed a group of special visitors who braved the final storm of rocket fire to express their support to our children and staff. Doron Almog was there to greet retired Police Cmdr. Yaakov Raz, Chairman of the Ashdod port; Shuki Sagis, Director of the Ashdod port; and Jerry Levin, an American who came to show his solidarity with Israel and has spent two weeks volunteering in the Soroka hospital. Grandfather of a special-needs little girl, Jerry was excited to have the opportunity to see ALEH Negev and how it was dealing with the trauma of war.
Also volunteering at the village on Sunday was a youth group from Katzrin, in Israel’s north. “This war is all of Israel’s, not just the people in the south, “they explain, “and that’s why we’re here – to show that we care.”
The laughter of the children engaged in a ball game together with staff and volunteers was contagious. The visitors were swept up in the feelings of solidarity and love that emanates from every corner of the village, and the former commander, army general and American businessman shed their professional mantles and joined the fun with full hearts.
The visit was summed up with Yaakov Raz’s heartfelt words. “We leave here overwhelmed and grateful for the privilege of having been able to come to such a place. Throughout our visit we were deeply impressed by the dedicated care of the staff toward the residents, their loving presence and compassionate way they treat their charges. You feel it in the air and see it with your eyes, in the song and music, the music garden…the village is like one great concert being led by Masada and conducted by Doron. This combination of ‘a professional heart’ is something that goes beyond what we actually saw; it is felt in the depths of one’s being.”
– From Goldy’s War Journal
Goldy can be contacted at 054-555-5005
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