Students Lead South

15 December 2008 By New Israel Fund

Five hundred students traveled to the northern Negev city of Sderot – frequently in the news because of the continuing Qassam attacks from Gaza -- during the Sukkot holidays. They participated in a three-day volunteer project to clean and renovate public facilities and the homes of the disadvantaged.

Students on a roll: an Israeli student paints a home in Sderot.

"This was much more than an exercise in solidarity with the citizens of Sderot," explained Eeki Elner, Director of the Center for Leadership in Sderot, which organized the project with support from NIF and other philanthropic organizations. "And much more was achieved than the cleaning of buildings and gardens. The morale and motivation of the residents of Sderot is very low at the moment. The students gave them a lesson in social activism and inspired them to improve their situation. Even now that the students have left, the local residents are carrying on with their work."