Jewish National Fund

Operation BDJ: Build, Defend, Join Israel Action 2019-2020

B’nai David – Judea, in grateful partnership with JNF, is strengthening the lives of the 50,000 Israelis living in the Gaza Envelope Communities. Our fundraising efforts this year will support the work of the following vital projects:

Trauma Resilience Centers: For many Israelis, the day-to-day impact of the conflict on the border with Gaza is minimal. For the residents of the Eshkol and Sha’ar HaNegev Regions, however, the war does not end—the region is under constant emergency routine. To ease the stress caused by PTSD, JNF invests in trauma resilience centers to provide emotional therapy. Therapy includes traditional one-on-one sessions, group therapy, and family counseling, as well as art, drama, pet, and movement therapy. The Eshkol Resilience Center also has its own rocket-protected therapy rooms that serve as shelters.

Playing Without Fear: Because children must always be within 15 seconds of a bomb shelter, an afternoon in the park can turn into a potentially dangerous activity, sometimes forcing children to spend their time indoors. To make a lasting difference in the community of Sderot, JNF built a 21,000 square foot secure indoor playground and community center, and subsequently dedicated an outdoor playground, outfitted with bomb shelters throughout to keep children safe in case of emergency.

Playschool Kingdom: In a continued effort to make a lasting difference to the children of the Eshkol Region, JNF is now building the Playschool Kingdom. This safe indoor playground and innovative learning center will provide a welcoming space in which kids can thrive during the day and after school hours. The center’s two stories will house rock climbing walls, a “tree house” play structure, virtual reality rooms, a planetarium, science and robotics spaces, art workshops, and general gathering spots.

Animal Assisted Therapy Center: The ongoing state of emergency has led to an entire population suffering from the effects of trauma, including bedwetting, clinging to parents, night terrors, insomnia, anxiety, and more. Animal assisted therapy is a significant tool in helping children and adults express and relinquish difficult emotions, enhance self-esteem and confidence, mobilize coping resources, and develop faith in themselves. It is also effective for treating symptoms of trauma, crisis, and stress.

Fire and Rescue Services: Of particular importance in this region is fire and rescue equipment to protect the land and people from fires that start from missile attacks and, more recently, fires caused by flaming kites sent from across the border. JNF continues to provide invaluable resources to local communities including fire stations, trucks, and equipment.