Even rockets raining down on Sderot didn’t prevent high-school students from the AMIT educational network schools in the city to take their matriculation exams Thursday on morning.
Amid the added pressure of Code Red sirens, 10th-graders and 11th-graders sat down to take their matriculation exams in the fields of mass communications, environmental science, research methods, sociology, and art history.
“The matriculation exam was stressful – both because of the material and also because of the Kassams [rockets]. If there wasn’t a threat of a Code Red siren it would much less stressful,” said Aviv Levy, a 10th-grade student from Sderot who took the matriculation exam in communications on Thursday morning.
Levy said that just prior to the start of the exam the siren sounded.
“We received instructions from teachers beforehand on how to act and how to stay calm, so we did, it really helped a lot,” he said.
According to Levy, the night prior to the exam was “not an easy night.” Multiple rockets fell near his house and the electricity went out, “So I arrived [to the exam] quite unsettled,” he said.
Eddie Dagan, principal of the AMIT Sderot Gutwirth Junior and Senior High School said that the Education Ministry was in touch with the schools in an effort to assist as much as they can.
“We are here to strengthen the children. We are all going through a difficult time, even more so are the students who need to pass their matriculation exams under the threat of Kassam rockets,” said Dagan.
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews offered its assistance to residents in the South on Thursday.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the IFCJ, spoke with municipal leaders in Sderot, the Eshkol Regional Council and the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council and offered emergency aid to assist residents whose homes were destroyed by rocket fire and any other needs the municipalities deemed necessary.
In addition, the IFCJ announced it would seek to integrate children into summer activities in areas outside the range of rocket fire as part of the “Summer of Friendship” program funded by the organization.
“I sincerely hope that the security situation will not deteriorate in the South. Children deserve a safe and enjoyable summer, and we will do all we can to help the mayors and the families pass the summer safely,” said Rabbi Eckstein.
He added that he remains in constant contact with the heads of the municipalities and appraised of all security developments.
Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi thanked the IFCJ for its assistance and said “the ability [of the IFCJ] to act in real time greatly helps during the difficult times.”
To date the IFCJ has provided assistance to Southern municipalities totaling some $33 million toward numerous projects, including renovating hundreds of shelters, delivering supplies to emergency crews, delivering emergency supplies and medical equipment to hospitals, as well as the establishment of a trauma center for the residents of the Eshkol Regional Council.