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They needed a break. Out of school, under missile fire, our Makom BaLev members in Kiryat Gat needed to get away from it all.

So we brought 55 girls from Kiryat Gat to Jerusalem for a breather (little did we know it would be the last day of the war). Makom BaLev/NCSY is a youth program of OU Israel and has a branch in Kiryat Gat. It’s been hard for our counselors to meet with their Makom BaLev “siblings” with the constant blaring of ‘code red’ and the very real threat of rocket fire.

And Makom BaLevers, with their madrichot (counselors) and school guidance counselors were off to the Biblical Zoo, the Gush Katif museum, “the Generation Tunnel” adjacent to the kotel and a visit to the Kotel. They had fun, and laughs. And a few tears. The girls were surprised by the comfort they found in the Gush Katif museum. Although their troubles are quite different, in some measure it helped them identify with the challenges their fellow Jews have faced.

On the way home, the girls said how happy they were with the day. They felt renewed, filled with a reinvigorated sense of who they are and a strengthening of their spiritual and emotional well-being.

Special thanks to “the Generation Tunnel” and Gush Katif museum for allowing our kids in for free.