World ORT brings children of South to science summer camp in North

In collaboration with the Kiryat Yam Municipality, the project will provide the children with various educational activities at the city’s science park.

Children from the South on a KKL-JNF-sposored trip to the Jerusalem Forest. (photo credit: YOSSI ZAMIR)
Children from the South on a KKL-JNF-sposored trip to the Jerusalem Forest.
(photo credit: YOSSI ZAMIR)
In light of the security situation, World ORT Kadima MADA said last week it was undertaking a new initiative to help residents of the South, and will be establishing science and technology summer camps in the North for 500 area children.
In collaboration with the Kiryat Yam Municipality, the project will provide the children with various educational activities at the city’s science park. Activities are designed to give them a break from the security situation via several days in a fun and educational environment; the initiative includes accommodation in northern youth villages.
In addition, World ORT Kadima MADA is working on scientific educational activities in southern bomb shelters.
In this framework, courses will be given via YOUniversity enrichment centers for children and youth communities in areas including Beersheba, Bnei Shimon, Netivot, Eshkol and Sha’ar Hanegev.
Courses will include topics such as robotics, architecture and physics.
“The World ORT Organization will mobilize supporters around the world to help children in the South during this tense time,” said its CEO, Shmuel Siso.
Jews, Arabs hold joint anti-war protest in Tira
A joint Arab-Jewish demonstration was held in Tira last weekend, with participants issuing a message of non-violence and anti-racism as the conflict between Israel and Gaza raged on.
Demonstrators held signs reading “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies,” Hadash MK Dov Henin stated on Facebook during the protest: “Now in Tira, in the heart of the Triangle, hundreds of Jews and Arabs stand together against war and for peace. Arabs from Kalansuwa, Taiba and Tira, and Jews from the Sharon area and the Center, together sound the other voice. Especially now, this voice is so vital: the voice of hope vs hatred and despair.”
Indie festival to kick off in Haifa Haifa’s two-day Indie festival is set to kick off tomorrow, featuring 100 live concerts. Entry to concerts is free and open to all those over 18. The gates will be open from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m, starring Eran Tzur, Amir Lev, Noam Rotem, San Taylor and Lilly Franko, among others.
Right-wing activists counter TA anti-war protest
Dozens of right-wing activists disrupted an anti-war protest at Tel Aviv’s Habimah Square last Saturday night, allegedly attacking several demonstrators.
Some 500 left-wing demonstrators turned up at the protest, which called for an end to Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. Shouting slogans such as “The nation demands an end to the fire,” protesters held anti-occupation signs and several banners reading “Stop the massacre in Gaza.”
The right-wing counter-protest was organized by rapper Yoav Eliassi, who prior to the event called on Facebook for activists to arrive at the protest in full force, “like lions.”
“Today at Habima Square we will represent the IDF, which is busy defending us against the ungrateful and insolent Left, which during this time of war dares to demonstrate for our enemies and against the IDF,” he said, as right-wing activists waved Israeli flags and sang “Hatikva,” shouting slogans such as “Let the IDF win in Gaza.”
Violence broke out when they reportedly shoved and threatened demonstrators.
Tel Aviv police denied claims by activists that they were beaten by counter-protesters and that police did not intervene, saying the protest was not approved and that after the rocket siren at 9:10 p.m. people scattered and fights then broke out.
The Meretz Party on Sunday called on the Public Security Ministry to open an investigation into police actions during the protest.
English-speaking drama group stages comedy amid rockets
English-speaking community theater group The Stage put on three performances last week, as part of a comedic festival of one-act plays in Tel Aviv’s Beit Yad Lebanim theater. The Jerusalem Post’s business reporter Niv Elis was among the actors who participated in the event, featuring in a sketch of For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls by Christopher Durang.
The theater is in a reinforced room, so the show was able to go on despite two sirens being sounded that evening. This is the second production put on by The Stage, following its debut with The Vagina Monologues. The entire production was put together by volunteers.
Festival co-director Hila Graf said: “Working with actors from different backgrounds, ages and perspectives in theater was a learning experience for me. Each one’s specialty is what made this show unique, creative and funny, and that’s what The Stage is all about. We were able to bridge differences and have a communal experience, which in the end created a fantastic professional production.”
Karen Lerman, co-director of You’re Invited! by Darren Canady, said that as a new immigrant she was thrilled to find a community like The Stage. “My experience helping to direct You’re Invited! was one of a kind, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity,” she enthused. “It allowed me to grow my creative abilities and foster relationships with incredibly talented people. Additionally, the grassroots nature of the group is so unique and makes me feel like anything is possible. I look forward to the next adventure.”
The evening was dedicated to the memory of Healey Or Gabison, a relative of singer David Broza who died of cancer last month. Or Gabison was a child actress, singer and dancer who performed in The Vagina Monologues in February, and was described as an “avid supporter” of The Stage.
Culture Ministry launches initiative to lighten life in shelters
Due to the escalating security situation in the South, Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat has spearheaded a range of cultural activities and performances for residents living in shelters and safe rooms.
Livnat said this was the least the Culture Ministry could do for the southern residents, who she said are standing firm in the face of incessant rocket attacks from Gaza.
The ministry stated, “The robustness of the residents and mayors in the South is the source of the IDF and State of Israel’s power.” It added that it was working as quickly as possible to do what it could to provide the residents with strength and encouragement, allow them a break from the terror and try to make their time pass more pleasurably.
In collaboration with the Tarbut LeIsrael society, the ministry recruited artists who will put on up to 40 performances in shelters and protected spaces in the South, including Sderot, Sha’ar Hanegev, Eshkol, Sdot Negev and Hof Ashkelon. The array of shows and cultural activities planned includes plays, clowns, acrobats, jugglers, music, dance, theater, arts and crafts workshops, sing-alongs, storytelling, encounters with artists, actors, authors, writers and film directors, and film screenings. The ministry also offered residents tickets to shows being held in the Center.
Furthermore, the ministry is cooperating with the Museums Association to grant free entry to residents of the Gaza periphery, Ashkelon and Netivot, to 18 museums across the country including the Israel Museum, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Bible Lands Museum and Nahum Gutman Museum. Tel Aviv’s Yiddishpiel Theater also joined the initiative, inviting residents to upcoming shows in Tel Aviv’s Arison Auditorium.
The Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites also plans to give southern residents free access to some heritage sites across the country.
KKL-JNF puts on activities for Ashkelon kids
Dozens of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund guides from the organization’s education department left their regular duties last week to join in the effort to put on educational and fun activities for children in shelters and protected spaces throughout Ashkelon.
KKL-JNF also sent busloads of southern residents for a fun day in the Jerusalem area, as families from the Ashkelon Regional Council enjoyed trips in the KKL-JNF forests in the Holy City’s hills; the organization provided transportation and professional guides for the residents.