But they who trust in Hashem shall renew their strength As eagles grow new plumes: They shall run and not grow weary, They shall march and not grow faint. Isaiah 40: 31 (THE ISRAEL BIBLE)
Often, many of us feel overworked and look forward to those precious moments when we can relax and unwind. When we have a tough week, at least we have the weekend to look forward to. It is our time to unwind, relax, and spend time with family and friends.
But what about people who haven’t had a weekend, let alone a moment, to relax – because their country is under attack? What about families who were forced to flee their homes, because Hamas terrorists attacked their communities? How about those whose husbands are fighting to defend the country, so they are the only ones at home to take care of the children and rush them into a bomb shelter when the sirens go off?
This is what life is like for hundreds of thousands of Israeli families today. While we can’t take the worry away, we can give them time and space to relax – and even more importantly, to smile and have a little fun.
On Tuesday, October 24, Israel365, along with the Kuppermann Family Charity Fund in LA, Ulpanat Lachish, and the Ramat Shiloh community, ran a “family day” for people from the city of Sderot, in southern Israel, who were forced to leave their homes. The Sderot families got what they needed most – some fun and relaxation.
Spearheaded by Abby Weisz, wife of Israel365 founder Rabbi Tuly Weisz, the family day was attended by over 100 mothers and children. The event took place in Ulpanat Lachish, a school in the south of Israel.
The children had a blast, enjoying game booths, arts and crafts, face painting, and jumping in bouncy houses. It was hours of pure fun. The kids even got to play with service dogs. And of course, there was plenty of cotton candy, popcorn, and chocolate.
While their children played, the moms enjoyed a “kids-free zone” where they had a chance to relax and unwind and enjoy professional massages and guided meditation. The women were able to share their experiences from October 7th, how they escaped, and what their lives have been like since the start of the war. For the first time in weeks, these moms had a moment to themselves.
After lunch, the women enjoyed dessert, including fresh fruit. One of the women said she was so grateful because they hadn’t been able to eat fresh fruit in weeks. The women also enjoyed a beautiful concert by Rebettzin Judith Gerzi, which added to the relaxing atmosphere.
Throughout the day, the women and children were able to “shop” from beautifully arranged rows of donated clothing.
Though it was only a few hours long, the family day was a powerful emotional boost for families who have been deprived of all normalcy since October 7.
Israel365 looks forward to hosting more of these family days, to give strength and joy to those who need it most.