e-Newsletter  - May 2009

   In this issue:
  • Yeshivat Hesder Sderot to host 4th Annual Awards Dinner 
  • Hesder leads city wide "Yom Yerushalayim" festivities
  • Hesder Alumni visit on a regular basis
  • Guests from near and far flock to the Hesder
Letter from Rabbi David Fendel

Dear Friends,
After a few months of relative quiet in Sderot and in Southern Israel, we were given a painful reminder this week that our enemy's determination to turn our city into a ghost town has not subsided.
On Tuesday May 19, a Kassam rocket fired by Arab terrorists in Gaza, slammed into the backyard of a home in Sderot, wounding a woman and sending others to the hospital to be treated for shock. This attack occurred just a few blocks away from our Yeshiva.
For many of the children in Sderot who have been spending this recent "lull" receiving treatment for a slew of mental traumas including post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the attacks, this week's incident served as a stark reminder, that because of our enemies hatred towards us, these youth are being deprived of a normal childhood, which they so richly deserve.
Nevertheless, the Hesder is plugging ahead, undeterred in our commitment to spreading Torah Zionism to the people of Sderot, through many community projects.
Next month, on June 30th, we will be hosting our 4th Annual Awards Dinner at the historic Puck Building in New York City. Please see the information below for all of the details. I am hoping that hundreds of our friends and supporters worldwide will attend this important event to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel, living on the frontlines under the constant threat of attack. If you can't make it to the dinner, there are still other ways to help including placing an ad in our dinner journal in order to give recognition to this year's deserving honorees.
Wishing you all a Chag Shavuot Sameach,

Rabbi David Fendel
Rosh Yeshiva

Yeshivat Hesder Sderot to host 4th Annual Awards Dinner
On Tuesday June 30th, the Max and Ruth Schwartz Yeshivat Hesder of Sderot will be hosting our 4th Annual Awards dinner in Manhattan's historic Puck Building located in the trendy neighborhood of Soho. This year's guests of honor include Dr. Irving and Mrs. Cherna Moskowitz of Miami Beach, who will be receiving our special "Pioneers of Zion Award," Englewood New Jersey Mayor Mr. Michael Wildes, Dr. David and Mrs. Tamar Schwalb of Monsey, New York, Mrs. Ruth Simon, of Lawrence, New York, and Mr. Dov Matz, of Mt. Kisco, New York.
In addition "The First Stalwart of Zion Award" will be presented in loving memory of Irving D. Liberman by his family, while this year's Rabbinical Award will be presented to Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider of Mt. Kisco, New York.
Funds raised through this year's event will go towards the completion of the Hesder's new "Kassam proof" campus, in addition to supporting all of the various volunteer community programs throughout Sderot initiated by the Hesder students.
For more information or to register for the dinner use this link:  http://www.sderot.org/dinner
Hesder leads city wide "Yom Yerushalayim" festivities
This past Thursday night, as Israel celebrated the 42nd anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, the Hesder took on the responsibility of organizing community-wide festivities throughout Sderot.
In collaboration with the municipality of Sderot and the Amit organization, the Hesder organized a parade through the center of town featuring the children of Sderot marching with their classmates, holding Israeli flags. Blue and white was the obvious color theme, as the procession of youngsters put smiles on the faces of the residents of our town.
Following the parade, the Hesder continued to celebrate the holiday throughout the night with a lively display of singing and dancing on the Hesder's main campus. In addition, the Mayor of Sderot David Buskila, took time from his busy schedule to address the student body, and to thank them for all of the meaningful volunteer work that they do to enhance the lives of the people of Sderot.
Hesder Alumni visit on a regular basis
It has become a very positive trend of late for many of the Hesder alumni to regularly return to Sderot to visit and spend time at their "alma mater".
In recent weeks, the Hesder has hosted special Shabbatonim for alumni which have drawn large crowds of former students. "What this proves," said Hesder Director of PR Josh Hasten, "is that the Hesder played such an integral role in the development of these young adults, that they can't help it but to return to their roots for a boost of Torah, spirituality, and the camaraderie that the Hesder provided."
In addition, in recent weeks many of the currently enrolled Hesder students, who are in the midst of their tours of duty with the Israeli army, have opted to spend Shabbat at the Hesder in Sderot instead of returning to their home communities. This phenomenon proves that even after a long tiring week of army service, the Hesder students willingly choose to spend their leave time with their "Hesder family" in order to revitalize themselves both physically and spiritually before heading back to their respective bases.
The Hesder is proud of these trends, and continues to encourage alumni (and soldiers) to return for visits. At the same time, the Hesder welcomes our friends and supporters worldwide to come and visit us for the day, or to spend Shabbat in Sderot for an unforgettable experience. Speaking of visitors….
Guests from near and far flock to the Hesder
Mr. David Schlussel presenting Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Fendel a copy of the letter sent to family members asking them to sponsor his son's learning on behalf of the Hesder
The Hesder continues to host guests from all over the world, who come to Sderot to show their support for the people of our town, and especially to our students who continue to play an integral role in keeping the flame of Torah Zionism burning despite the difficult situation.
Recent guests have included: The extended Schlussel family from Englewood, New Jersey, Edison, New Jersey, and Beit Shemesh. In fact David and Lisa Schlussel came up with a creative way to help the Hesder, while adding an extremely meaningful element to their son Moshe's upcoming Bar-Mitzvah. Their son, whose Bar Mitzvah will G-d willing take place in just a few weeks, decided to learn Mishnayot in honor of his big day and ask family members to sponsor his learning with all proceeds going towards the Hesder's emergency building campaign (link here to website campaign page). Kol Hakavod to the Schlussel family!!
Members of the Emunah women's organization from Jerusalem, enjoying a festive lunch at the Hesder
In addition, a large contingency representing the   Emunah Women's Organization from Jerusalem were treated to a tour and luncheon at the Hesder. One of the group leaders was Toby Willig who is well known in Israel and around the world for her pro-Israel activism.
In addition, the participants of The American Friends of a Safe Israel (AFSI) Spring mission to Israel is scheduled to visit the Hesder in the next few days.
Please visit our Website at www.sderot.org  
American Friends of Yeshivat Hesder Sderot
49 Dakota Street
Passaic, NJ 07055

To contact us by phone in Israel please call (+972) 08-661-1360
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