The Israeli response to terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip started a week-and-a-half ago, and Operation Guardian of the Walls isn’t over yet. Countless rockets have been fired at southern and central Israel, the IDF continues to attack targets in Gaza, and the situation is extremely tense.
Faced with this challenge, hundreds of students at mechinot of all stripes have picked up the gauntlet with a range of activities to help the people of southern and central Israel. From helping medical workers at hospitals to distributing refreshments to soldiers and families, here is a list of the amazing things they’ve been doing.
Mechinat Aderet set itself the goal of making life easier for medical workers in this difficult time. The mechina’s students spread out over the past several days in hospitals and clinics in the Shfela to run activities for children of hospital staff. This way the parents can keep doing their critical work, and the children have a welcome distraction.
Mechinat Bnei David
After a successful fundraiser, the students of Mechinat Bnei David in Eli used the proceeds to treat local soldiers and police to pizza and snacks.
To help with the tension and anxiety, students at Mechinat Eitan in Mishor Adumim brought snacks and treats to soldiers, as well as to families that need to run for the bomb shelter every few minutes. The students collected the food outside shopping centers from customers.
Mechinat Chemdat rallied at intersections, where students waved Israeli flags and shared smiles to raise the morale of passersby.
The students of Mechinat Hanegev at Midreshet Ben-Gurion deployed as substitutes for preschool educators in the Ramat HaNegev region who couldn’t go to work because their children’s schools were closed.
Mechinat Arava at Ein Yahav
The students of Mechinat Arava at Ein Yahav traveled to Kiryat Malachi, where they cleaned up long-unused bomb shelters and ran programs for children of medical workers who are taking care of the injured.
Beit Yatir Pre-Army Torah Academy
Students traveled from the Beit Yatir Pre-Army Torah Academy to Be’er Sheva to clean up bomb shelters. They also put on an activity for children and families who had been evacuated from the Gaza perimeter for a break.
Mechinat Haviva Reik
The students of Mechinat Haviva Reik at Givat Haviva hosted families from Ashkelon, which has been beleaguered in recent days by salvos of rockets and air raid sirens. The families finally had a break from the danger and noise, and the children enjoyed an array of carefully planned activities, courtesy of the mechina students.
Medical workers at hospitals are active around the clock due to the fighting. To help them keep doing their important work, this week the students of the BINA Mechina ran daycares for their children.
Many mechinot also provided hospitality for families, service year groups, and mechinot from the south. Among the mechinot providing lodging for families were Mechinat Derech Eretz in Kmehin, Mechinat Echad Mishelanu in Mitzpe Ilan, Mechinat HaEmek, Mechinat Kerem-El in Daliyat al-Karmel, the Tavor Leadership Academy’s Moran branch, and Mechinat Yedidya in Beit Shemesh.