It is hard to believe, but it is the first of September and in Israel schoolchildren are returning to their classrooms today…hopefully excited, though likely sad that the summer has ended and the real work begins.
For many families in Israel the beginning of school brings a new set of worries-how do they pay for school books and supplies? Unlike here in America, families must pay for their kid’s textbooks. When you add the cost of paper, pens, crayons and everything else that is needed, the burden can be too great for many, particularly families who have endured the never-ending trauma of terror attacks from prior years. Though years may have past, the economic and psychological impact never really ends.
For one woman, now a widow after her husband’s death at the hands of a terrorist while at work, the burden of providing her child with the textbooks needed for school is more than she can handle.
For another youngster about to enter the fourth grade, returning to school was something she did not want to do since she had been using some of the same supplies from her younger days and was now embarrassed by their juvenile appearance. Being in the fourth grade meant she should have things that were more "grown up".
One family of seven is still dealing with the serious losses they endured after their home in Sderot was hit by a Katushya rocket. They now have to live in a small apartment and both parents are without work due to cutbacks and the time they needed to take from work to help their children deal with the trauma of the attacks. For this family buying school supplies was beyond what they could afford.
We learned about these families and others through our friend Karyn London, the social worker who works with terror victims at ATZUM. (http://ATZUM.org) We know that whatever funds we send will be used quickly, efficiently and with the greatest respect for the recipients.