The ongoing rocket barrages on Israeli cities have inspired a parallel salvo of support and empathy: Ynet's Facebook page received a large number of messages and requests from Jews and non-Jews from around the world, expressing support and prayers for those under fire.
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Pictures bearing the message "Shabbat Shalom Sderot" were sent from Singapore, Madrid, Seoul and other cities, either by Israeli students studying abroad or by the local Jewish communities. Students of the "Hillel Torah" Jewish school in Illinois wrote: "The school supports the residents of Israel and IDF soldiers. Our students pray daily for their peace".
Shabbat Shalom Sderot (Photo: Daniel Shalem)
Support from Florence, Italy (Photo: Eliko Levy)
Students of the Jewish high school Kohelet in Philadelphia could not stay indifferent to the situation in Israel. Together with civil service volunteers and local Bnei Akiva envoys, Asher and Miriam Koren, they decided to express their support and empathy for the residents living under Gaza rocket fire.
Yael Goldstein, the local civil service volunteer, told Ynet: "In the wake of the fighting we decided that Thursday would be a day of support for the residents of the south. We prepared movies as well as informative flyers and asked students to come to school wearing red shirts. Almost all of the kids arrived at the school in red, and after a special prayer service we all came together for a group picture signifying our support for the residents of the south."
"The gang here is really motivated, they are constantly getting up to speed on what is happening in Israel," said Mayan Kozic, and additional civil service volunteer. "Even though it is a Jewish and religious high school, the level of interest and motivation managed to move me. It moved me that even though they grew up in the US they are still a part of Israel. I can only hope that it gives the residents of the south some optimism."
"During the last few days many in the international Jewish community have requested to pass on their support for Israel through letters, emails, short video clips and other initiatives," Hagit Halali, spokesperson for the Jewish Agency, told Ynet.
Support from Seoul (Photo: Mark Cohen)
San Diego school children with Israeli flag (Photo: courtesy of The Jewish Agency)
After three people were killed by a Grad rocket fired at Kiryat Malachi on Thursday, female students from the Or Avner school in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine sent letters of support to their twin school in Kiryat Malachi, "Chabad Girls." Students of the Leon Pinelo Jewish School in Lima, Peru, held conversations with students from their respective twin school, Mekif Zayen in Ashdod.
Meanwhile, Jewish organizations from around the world are mobilizing to offer financial as well as moral support for those injured from rocket fire. The Jewish Federations of North America (JNFA) recently announced a donation of $5 million for the victims of rocket terror in Israel. The Jewish Agency also promised to offer immediate support for those injured.
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