RJCF -- Children Of Sderot Journal

The Sderot Journal

Reports, articles, letters, photos about the Children of Sderot project, which is designed to help children who live in a war zone.
Contact e-mail: BostonSderot@rjcf.com

RJCF Children of Sderot Project in pictures and numbers

Sderot CampThe RJCF Boston-Sderot Project’s long term goal is to support the Israeli City of Sderot and provide a meaningful experience for American Youth to experience Jewish peoplehood and Israel by supporting a besieged community. It consists of two programs: Summer Camp and Community Center.

Children of Chicago to Children of Sderot

Chicago-Sderot concert The recent charitable fair and concert in Chicago was dedicated to the Children of Sderot. The project was a great success, with many participants in both the concert and the fair, and many people and organizations supporting this charitable event.


A personal inside look on a truly inspiring story about a young girl

Larisa Abramov After a Kassam landed on her house, Larisa Abramov, age:16, talks about her traumatizing experience and how it helped her grow as a person.

It was just a typical day in Sderot, Israel for Larisa Abramov and her family. She had just returned home from school and was ready to begin her homework and complete her daily tasks.

Sderot Update: exciting news

Boston Sderot We have just received phenomenal news from Sderot that must be heard by all our friends, family, and supporters. Our very own Sveta Panaitov, director of our Boston Sderot afterschool program and annual summer camp, just got elected to Sderot’s City Council! While this is a tremendous achievement for her personally, this win is an even greater accomplishment and triumph for our afterschool program and our entire initiative in Sderot. We are already seeing the results of this victory through Sveta’s electoral campaign. Gaining access to a greater outlet has enabled Sveta to reach more of Sderot residents and inform the greater general public about the Boston Sderot club.

But what does this have to do with us here in America? ... (continue)

The 5th Annual CBCS Concert on November 17th at 3PM at Center Makor

Boston Sderot The 5th Annual Children of Boston to the Children Of Sderot (CBCS) Concert will be held on Sunday November 17th at 3PM at Center Makor - All proceeds go to the Boston Sderot Project.

To purchase tickets email us at campbostonsderot@rjcf.com or call 617-453-8739. If you are unable to attend, please consider donating (click Donate button for online donation). Learn more about the Boston Sderot Project on our facebook page or contact us by e-mail or phone to get involved!

Thank You Video from Camp Boston-Sderot 2013


Reflection on Boston-Sderot Camp 2013

by Laurie Kamenetsky

As I sit here and try to control the unstoppable and inevitable sniffles, tears, and occasional sobbing, one word continuously repeats in my head. That word is love.


Congrats to the outstanding Counselors of Boston-Sderot Summer Camp 2013

As our counselors left for the Boston-Sderot Camp, RJCF would like to recognize two outstanding members of this years team:

Laurie Kamenetsky and Gary Pivovarov!


Counselors of Boston-Sderot Summer Camp 2013

In a few weeks, the annual Boston Sderot Camp will begin its 6th season! 11 young college students from the Boston area accompanied by their chaperone Olga Bolotovsky will travel to Israel to run a summer camp for the children of Sderot. 

Counselors returning for a second year include Omer Fine, Yudit Bolotovsky, Laurie Kamenetsky, Hailey Pirovich, Gary Pivovarov, Aaron Chernin and Phil Kudriavtsev. Leeza Reyzin, Ariela Zmoira, Sam Ludin and Dan Legmann will be attending for the first time, all of whom have dedicated a huge effort to raise over $34,000 for their trip.

Read more about the Counselors of Boston-Sderot Summer Camp 2013 ...

Children Of Chicago to Children Of Sderot - Concert 2013

The charitable concert the Children of Boston to the Children of Sderot became an annual event in Boston. A similar event took place recently in Chicago (May 2013).
Money collected from this event will go toward Boston-Sderot Summer Camp in Israel.


"Boston - Sderot" Community Center. About our project and us. Who are "we"?

1. The Boston’s organization the Russian Jewish Community Foundation (RJCF), invited to a summer camp in Boston 20 children from Sderot, and decided to take care of the children in the future – this was in 2006. The motto of this initiative were the words Inna Rifkin, one of the leaders of the organization and the initiator of the project: "it is not in our power to stop the terror Qassams, but we can give the children their childhood back. We cannot invest in the defense of the Jewish state, but we can invest in the development of these Jewish children.

Sderot bombing continues: an appeal to the community

Yossi Haziza, a Sderot resident in whose courtyard the first rocket exploded, was looking at the walls of his home sprayed with shrapnel and shattered windows.
"I wish this was merely damage to property but my eight year old daughter and my wife are terrified," Haziza said. "We just want to live in peace. We don't want to keep having to run to bomb shelters." Washington Post, March 21, 2013

Dear friends, Lately I have heard the same question from many friends and relatives: Why ...

JNS: Bunkmates from Sderot put summer camp, life in perspective

For those of us who ever went to summer camp, we vividly remember our first night in a bunk, first scary story, first campfire, and for some, our first kiss. But for nine children from the southern Israeli city of Sderot who spent three weeks in 2007 at Camp Sunapee in Georges Mills, NH, their first vivid memory of ... [ Read More]

Providing a safe haven for war's youngest victims

An article in Boston's "The Jewish Advocate" newspaper on January 18th, 2013
RJCF works to ensure children of Sderot get reprieve from violence
When the qassam rockets were raining down on Sderot - an Israeli town less than a mile away from the Gaza Srip - during Operation Pillar of Defense, Svetlana Sheetrit, who runs the Children of Sderot program in Israel, knew whom to call for help.
[Read More ...]

Children of Boston to Children of Sderot - Concert 2012

by Louisa Gorbatov

The 4th annual Children of Boston to Children of Boston to Children of Sderot Concert was held on October 14th at the Center Makor in Brookline. The support of the community has created a continued tradition to raise funds for the Children of Sderot through the performances of the Children of Boston. With these collections our project can maintain the summer camp program created for the Children of Sderot.

Summer 2012: We are in Sderot!

BostonSderot Camp A new group of incredible Boston counselors has successfully raised enough funds for 10 people to travel to Israel and volunteer to work at the Boston Sderot camp for two weeks.

The 3rd annual Children of Boston to Children of Sderot Concert - 2011

The 3rd annual Children of Boston to Children of Sderot Concert was held on October 23rd at Center Makor in Brookline. The concert hosted over 100 performers from several performing groups in the Boston area.

Our Children - Boston Sderot - 2011


Thank you video from the children of Sderot

Have you ever wondered what a Kassam rocket leaves behind after it lands?
Destroyed buildings? A hole in the ground? A burned out tree?
Now, try to imagine what it does to a child.
Our Center was established for these children. It serves as a daily source of support for the parents and children of Sderot by providing them with activities, games, field trips and most importantly a place of warmth and love.

Please watch our short film and forward it to friends and family.


Support the Summer Camp 2011 for the children of Sderot

Our previous camps for the children of Sderot were very successful. Not only were children given a brief respite from Kassam fire, they took part in nature trips, math and English clubs, and learned about Jewish traditions.

You were there to make the difference in the past...it's time to act once again.
Make your donation!

Anna Kamenetsky: In Sderot, a story of childhood restored

How Russian Jews in Boston helped transform Israeli lives.
It’s less than a mile from the Gaza and, to many, the city is best known for being subjected
to furious rocket attacks. Still, I can’t seem to stay away from Sderot.
When I was accepted into the Birthright Program to Israel, I extended my trip to be able to visit the city, my third trip there in just one year. Friends ask, “What is so great that you keep going back?” My answer: “To see the kids, that’s why.” This article is available in English and Russian

Новый год деревьев (Ту бишват) или новый рецепт от юных кулинаров из Сдерота

[Письмо из Сдерота, Наташа Панаитова]
Вы, знаете все-таки странный народ мы евреи. Всё человечество празднует новый год зимой, с ёлками, снежками и всякими там Дед Морозами и Санта Клаусами. Для нас же это обычный рабочий день, и начало нового календарного года. Зато осенью мы отмечаем свой новый год с мёдом и яблоками, а сейчас вот и ту бишват. Это тоже новый год, и мы его празднуем,сажая новые деревья. А как же это наша земля, земля обетованная. Знаете я только в Израиле поняла истинный смысл этих слов. Первую половину своей жизни я провела в Туркмении, жила рядом с пустыней Кара-Кум. И с детства мне было понятно, что слово «пустыня» происходит от слова «пусто». Что может расти в пустыне, кроме саксаула? Правда мой город стоял на берегу реки Аму-Дарьи и был относительно зеленным, но мое представление о пустыне никогда не менялось, это от туда дули жаркие ветры с песком и пылью, там были барханы,которые лишь ранней весной покрывались зеленью, да и выживали там только всякие пауки и суслики. Сейчас я живу в Сдероте, который располагается в Негеве, в пустыне Негев.

Photos from the Summer Camp 2009 for Sderot children

The Summer Camp for children of Sderot was paid and organized by our community.


Please take a look at the pictures.
Summer Camp 2009 -- Photo album

A Summer They'll Never Forget...Children of Sderot Summer Camp 2009

What is the Children of Sderot Summer Camp 2009?
The Children of Sderot Summer Camp 2009 will be an opportunity for 50 children of Sderot to leave the war-stricken Sderot to attend a summer camp for two weeks.

Who has paid for the Children of Sderot Summer Camp in the past?
Members of the Russian Jewish Community has donated the funds for the Children of Sderot Summer Camps.

Where will the Children of Sderot Summer Camp take place?

Children of Sderot Summer Camp will take place on the picturesque hills on the outskirts of Jerusalem, facilitated with cabin houses, dining room, and rolling acres of land for outdoor activities. The children will swim in a swimming pool in a nearby kibbutz.

Exclusive Children of Sderot Winter Camp Report and Interview

RJCF's winter camp for 50 Children of Sderot took place during the week of Chanukah vacation in the Nitzana Education Center in the Negev. The camp was a smashing success. Not only were the children taken away for a brief respite from Kassam fire, they took part in nature trips, math and English clubs, and learned about Chanukah and Jewish traditions.
Interview with Children of Sderot Winter Camp Counselors' Eliza Zell and Anna Kamenetsky.

Restoring normalcy for children of Sderot ["The Jewish Advocate", 9/2/2008]

Children of Sderot: Summer Camp 2008Last year, when 20 underprivileged children from Sderot, Israel, came to the U.S. to attend camp - 10 campers in Massachusetts, 10 campers in New Hampshire - it was an indicator of the community outreach being made to the helpless children stranded in an embattled city.
With the precedent set, an expanded collaboration ensued. Already involved as the host for the Sderot kids attending the Russian School of Mathematics camp in Sunapee, N.H., Inessa Rifkin, camp director and principle of the Russian School of Mathematics's Newton location, was joined by the Russian Jewish Community Foundation's Ary Rotman and Greg Margolin, as well...

Masha Bresner: Camp for Children of Sderot; How We Did It [Sep 1st, 2008]

I am going to be 100% honest with you. The six Americans who took part in the first RJCF camp for the children of Sderot were shocked. We had all worked extensively with children before, but these kids were unlike any we had ever encountered. We had all spent our summers at camp RSM (Russian School of Mathematics) at Sunapee first as campers and then as counselors.

This past August, the Russian Jewish Community of Boston raised enough money to found a camp in Israel for the children of Sderot. The six American counsellors, Rimma Pivovarov, Masha Bresner, Liz Rapoport, Michael Wolfson,Vicky Berdichevsky, and Masha Rifkin, who would be the representatives of the community, each raised 2000 dollars before our departure to Israel. We decided that the camp we would be starting in Israel would be similar to the New Hampshire camp we were used to. We would teach them English and math, we would take them on outings with the Israeli Counselors who had spent the year leading children's trips through the Israeli wilderness, we would do our best give them a normal life away from the constant barrage of rocket fire that defined their days in Sderot.

Letter from the Counselors of Camp ’08 [Aug 1st, 2008]

Children<br>of Sderot Very soon first group of children will come to the summer camp in "Yaar Lavi" in the forests of Golan. This project is being implemented in partnership with the Israeli organization Green Horizons that specializes in outdoor activities for children. The kids will be living in the tents, participate in all kinds of activities that young counselors from Massachusetts thought up for them. The idea of the camp is so popular that our volunteers in Sderot get lots of calls from parents wanting to sign up their kids for this camp.

Equally excited are our counselors of this first summer camp. To become a counselor in Sderot camp is a privilege. Young people had not only have special training; they also had to pay their airfare to Israel and for their upkeep there. For that they had to raise money, that is, to advocate for this project and convince people to donate money especially for their trip to Israel. They had to bring the ideas for entertaining and educating Israeli kids. Here is the letter from our counselors to Russian Jewish Community:


July'08 update

Letter from Rinat (רינת אלון) Hello Masha,

How are you? Over here the weather is hot and the preparations for the camp are going into high gear...

Last week Natasha, Sveta and I had a very nice (although wearying) day driving to the north to check the camp site- "YAAR LAVI". We were worried about so many things but as soon as we got there we felt like it`s a wonderful place, and very suitable for our needs. The staff over there was so welcoming and helpful, and the facilities are in a really good shape. I`m attaching a file with some pictures and explanations for you.
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