In May 2007, a delegation lead by the Jewish Federation of Oklahoma visited the Northern Israel city of Kiryat Shmona, where they met with a group of students that run the "Ofarim" clubhouse that helps children and adolescents at risk. At the end of the emotionally-charged encounter, the delegation presented the Jewish Agency with a check for $20,000 earmarked for operating the "Secure Summer" day camp that will serve neighborhood children during the summer months. This initiative and others like it enable the Jewish Agency to advance valuable and necessary programs that would otherwise be impossible.
The "Secure Summer" day camp will provide Kiryat Shmona youths with education, discussions about community orientation and lessons in sports and physical education. To adequately prepare the campsite, dozens of volunteers from the “Masa” Project and the Israel Experience joined local residents and students in repairing the campsite’s basketball court that had been badly damaged by a Katyusha rocket in the last war.
The basketball court was then inaugurated by a poignant basketball tournament in which basketball stars from Hapoel Galil Elyon participated, as well as local basketball players and teams from "Masa" and the Israel Experience. The evening concluded with the distribution of prizes and a Hebrew songfest, creating a memorable experience that will surely be the first of many at the "Secure Summer" day camp.
The creativity and generosity of the Oklahoma delegation directly enabled the Jewish Agency to bring the delegates’ idea to fruition and to help the children of Kiryat Shmona. We welcome your ideas for similar projects and we look forward to working with you to help enrich Israeli life.
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