Masorti Olami News
November 2012 - Kislev 5772

Rabbi Tzvi Graetz, Executive Director, Masorti Olami meets with some of the Latin American participated who were moved to Jerusalem. 
What are you thankful for?
While families in America recount their blessings, Masorti Olami, MERCAZ Olami and MAROM Olami have spent the past week dealing with the repercussions of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.  Responsible for the safety and well being of young adults from Latin America, once the rockets started falling, important decisions had to be made.  Avigail Ben-AryehDirector, MAROM Olami and Lucas "Pato" Lejderman, Latin American Desk Head, MAROM Olami immediately went into action to ensure the physical and mental well being of every participant.

Avigail Ben Aryeh, MAROM Olami Director (top, last on right) with the NOAM Shnat participants
Participants from Latin America, in year long "shnat" programs had to be moved to safer parts of Israel and parents had to be informed and made comfortable with the decisions being made here.  The parents of these young adults 
were incredibly supportive, not only of having their kids in Israel but of the quick thinking and care that went into taking care of their children.  The participants never failed to amaze us with their bravery and deep identification with the citizens of Israel.  It would have been preferable that their year in Israel not be memorable because of a crisis weathered together, yet, their experience called forth a dramatic response that intensified their Jewish Zionist identity. 

We hope and pray that their remaining time in Israel will be filled with Shalom.

In their own words....
We hope peace will reach all our homes soon

On Wednesday 14th  of November, we were told that The Israeli Defense Force (IDF), was starting a new operation called Pillar of Defense and that Hatzerim was no longer a safe place for us and so we had to leave to another kibbutz. That night we were not able to leave the kibbutz and had to sleep in the bomb shelter. The siren kept on going off from time to time. When we were all finally able to fall asleep, convincing ourselves that everything was over, we were awakened once again by the horrible sound of the siren. That night more than 15 rockets were fired towards Beer Sheva and at least 3 of those rockets were aimed to hit the Hatzerim air force base, located only 2 km away from our kibbutz. Click here to read the entire letter.


Shnat Participants at the Kotel
Am Yisrael Chai
Now we hope and pray for peace

Nov 20th 2:15pm - Jerusalem: We were walking on a Jerusalem street looking for a restaurant to have lunch. We were in the middle of a big avenue, open, with nothing above us and nowhere to go. A few seconds later we heard the boom and realized the rocket had reached somewhere. After reaching a more crowded place, we saw everyone on their phones and watching the news that was already reporting what had happened. They had attacked Bethlehem, and we were safe. 
Well, safe is kind of relative. What's safe ? First the target was the south, then Tel Aviv, now, even Jerusalem, the city that suppose to be holy not only for us, but for all religions. In the end, you realize that you don't have control of yourself. No one. Israelis, new immigrants and us, people that have been living here for one year following their dream and could never imagine to experience this situation. Now we hope and pray for peace. Am Israel Chai.

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