Kids in North getting recreation centers

Although the rockets have stopped, the effects of the violence will continue to plague the children of the North. Israel Prize laureate Rabbi David Grossman of Beit Ha'emek, known by some as the "Disco Rabbi," has pledged to create recreation centers for thousands of these youngsters. Grossman's Migdal Ohr foundation, which will run the initiative, was founded in 1972 to "provide education and guidance to children from underprivileged families from the North" according to the organization's Web site. During the war, Migdal Ohr and Grossman provided 7,000 people from northern Israel with a safe and fun place to escape the violence, in camps across the Central region. "We have received calls from over 1,000 parents from cities across the North," said Rabbi Shuey Fogel, who has worked with Migdal Ohr for two years. "We are doing this because people need help. This project is a continuation of the camp project." The recreation centers will target three age groups - kindergarteners, preteens and teenagers. Children of kindergarten-age and younger will be provided with reading and writing lessons, as well as games. Older children will be taught "Jewish values and traditions." Fun will be an important focus for all the kids. They will be able to participate in sports, arts and crafts and even pool and ping-pong. Fogel said the centers would open "as soon as possible" to help children readjust to normal life. He said he hoped they would be running when schools opened in the beginning of September. "We will incorporate physiologists and social workers," said Fogel.