Meir Panim youth learn the magic of animation!

 The Hive Studio with Meir Panim  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Hive Studio with Meir Panim
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

In late July, Meir Panim organized a trip to the Hive Studio in Tel Aviv, one of Israel’s leading animation studios, for four outstanding teens from its Sderot Community Center– Oz, Ariel, Shilo, and Benaya – in recognition of their volunteer work in the city. Amit Gicelter, award-winning producer, content creator, and founder and CEO of the Hive, explained animation basics, including idea creation, how to create sketches on paper, prepare a storyboard, design models, and create and produce an animated film. After the session, the boys watched “The Black Slide,” co-produced by Gicelter, which was short-listed for nomination in the Animated Short Film category for the 95th Academy Awards held in 2023.

“It was really wonderful to meet the kids from Meir Panim and to show them a bit of the Hive Studio’s animated world,” said Amit.  “Who knows –  maybe we inspired the next Israeli Disney to open up shop in the Negev!”

The Hive Studio (Credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Hive Studio (Credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Mimi Rozmaryn, Director of Global Development for Meir Panim, added, “We’re always happy to give our teens in Sderot as many new experiences as we can. Accompanied by one of the program staff, the teens enjoyed the visit to the Hive Studio, where they learned how they might be able to make a career through their creativity, went out for lunch, and had a break from the daily pressures of life in Sderot.”

the Hive Studio with Meir Panim (Credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
the Hive Studio with Meir Panim (Credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

A frequent target of missile and rocket attacks, the residents of Sderot are accustomed to living on high alert and having to seek refuge in bomb shelters.  Sderot’s poverty and unemployment rate are higher than the national average, and teens have an alarming 15% high school dropout rate. Meir Panim has introduced a variety of activities offered at its bomb-proof Sderot Community Center for children and adults, designed to help them deal with their anxieties and fears. “Our goal,” says Ta’ir Sassi Edri, Meir Panim’s Program Director in Sderot, “is to ensure that the residents of Sderot are full of the joy of life, equally integrated into all aspects of their lives.”

The teens’ visit to the Hive Studio undoubtedly accomplished this goal!

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This article was written in cooperation with Meir Panim