FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Murals and a Mobile Petting Zoo Help Lift Spirits of Israeli Children in Bomb Shelters
August 11, 2006 -- New York, NY -- As Jewish National Fund (JNF) summer camps in central Israel fill with children who have come to escape life in the north for a few days, many young people remain in bomb shelters, preferring not to leave their families.
Extending its outreach to those still up north, JNF has begun to send counselors from Chugei Sayarut, Israel's top youth movement and a division of JNF, to organize activities and games in bomb shelters. Children play with hamsters, conduct science experiments, and put on performances. Last week, a graffiti artist visited bomb shelters in Acco and Hatzor Haglilit, helping children decorate the walls of their temporary homes.
In addition to reaching out to the children of northern Israel, funds raised through Operation Security Blanket, JNF’s emergency campaign, are being used to purchase emergency equipment and fire trucks for firefighters battling forest fires caused by rocket attacks and to build security bypass roads to protect residents living along the Gaza border. To date, the campaign has raised over $4 million.
“Once again, JNF has proven its ability to make a meaningful contribution to Israel’s residents," said Asher Wahnish, director of the Acco community centers. "They do this by the projects that take place in our city during normal times, by sending children from the north to be guests at the field centers during the present crisis, and by this new project of painting pictures in the bomb shelters. These activities make an indelible impression on us.”
For more information or to support Operation Security Blanket, visit http://www.jnf.org/ or contact your local JNF office at 888-JNF-0099.
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Jewish National Fund is a non-profit organization founded in 1901 to serve as caretaker of the land of Israel, on behalf of its owners—Jewish people everywhere. Over the past century, JNF has planted over 240 million trees, built over 180 reservoirs and dams, developed over 250,000 acres of land, created more than 1,000 parks, provided the infrastructure for 1,000 communities and educated students around the world about Israel and the environment. Today, JNF is putting its century of experience to work with the Blueprint Negev initiative, supporting Israel’s newest generation of pioneers in developing the Negev Desert -- Israel’s last frontier. For more information on JNF or to plant trees in Israel, call 1-800-542-TREE (8733) or visit http://www.jnf.org/. To contact your local office, please call 888-JNF-0099 or visit http://www.jnf.org/.