Welcome to Sderot

0117sderotHave you ever heard of Sderot? Well not only is it a beautiful western Negev city in the Southern District of Israel, it is also referred to as the “Bomb Shelter Capital of the World.”  Sderot is located less than a mile from Gaza and has been an ongoing target of Qassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip since 2001; rocket attacks on the city have killed 13 Israelis, wounded dozens, caused millions of dollars in damage and profoundly disrupted daily life. Kiddish recently visited this beautiful city with its brave and kind residents to get an up-close look at the struggles they face in their daily lives. We met with the mayor Alon Davidi and several local teachers to get a sense of how the town’s inhabitants—especially the children are affected by the constant threat of rocket fire. Air raid sirens and explosions have caused severe psychological trauma in some residents. Studies have shown that, “at least 75 percent of children aged 4–18 in Sderot suffer from post-traumatic stress, including sleeping disorders and severe anxiety. And from mid-June 2007 to mid-February 2008, 771 rockets and 857 mortar bombs were fired at Sderot and the western Negev, an average of three or four each a day.” Therefore it is notable that many of Sderot’s bomb shelters are built in the form of Children’s Play areas in school playgrounds. In fact, from the time the warning sirens start, teachers have exactly 15 seconds to get their students to safety. Once the kids are all safely inside a shelter and accounted for, they sing a song together to mask the sound of rocket explosions. This town’s residents are truly an inspiration.


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