Hadassah-Neurim Provides Refuge for Border Kibbutz

Monday, Aug 11 2014

One of the families who fled Nachal Oz for Hadassah-Neurim.
For the last three weeks, Mali Yehoshafat and her four children have found refuge at Hadassah-Neurim. 125 kibbutz members—including all the children in this border agricultural commune are living in Hadassah’s Youth Village, near Netanya. Kibbutz Nachal Oz was established in 1951, the first outpost created by the IDF Nachal brigade for agriculture and defense.

“We left as soon as the rockets began falling,” she said. “We were running to our strong rooms every minute. And now we have the fear of terrorists digging tunnels near the kibbutz. That’s new- it’s (normally) such a relief to be here with our children.”

Hadassah-Neurim has been a refuge for children from all over the world-and from Israel, too, says village director Natan Biton. “Remember that Hadassah-Neeurim was established in 1948 to absorb children running away from the gunfire of the War of Independence from Ben Shemen, near Lod. We are pleased that we can offer safety, shelter and food to these children, thanks to the generosity of the women of Hadassah.”

Nurse Hila Haim-Shefer, a single mother with three children, said she was already familiar with the women of Hadassah from a course she did in the history of nursing in Israel.

“You can’t study nursing without knowing the debt we owe to the women of Hadassah.”

Kassay Worku, 16, is an Ethiopian-born Hadassah-Neurim student who has remained in the village over the summer.

“Their counselors say that they are acting out and are crankier than they are at home,” said Worku. “But to me, coming from the town of Ohr Yehudah, they seem like regular kids. Because they come from a kibbutz, they are united and play very well in groups.”

Adi Freibach, 42, is in charge of the education, health and cultural activities of the Kibbutz, but today she’s helping out in the kindergarten.

“We have felt engulfed in the warmth of the people of Israel, but coming to Hadassah-Neurim has told us that that hug extends from across the ocean, from Hadassah. I Googled Hadassah to fill in what I was missing from the history of this amazing organization," she said.



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