Hebrew U Hosts Students from Besieged Southern Israel

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CFHU has pledged financial support for academic enrichment program developed for youth living in Southern Israel.

SUPPORT OUR HEBREW U OUTREACH TO SOUTHERN ISRAELI STUDENTS

January 4, 2009 - The Authority for Community and Youth of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is offering its assistance to the besieged residents in the south of the country by hosting young people from that area at the University.

Over the past several days, the Authority has welcomed some 100 eighth- and ninth-grade students from Ashkelon, Sderot and Netivot who attended science camps. Two more groups are expected in the next few days. All the students are participants in the pre-Atidim program, which is designed to motivate and encourage middle and high-school youngsters from the periphery to further their educational prospects. In many communities in the south of the country, schools have been closed for the past week due to the continuing rocket attacks from Gaza.

During their stay in Jerusalem, the youngsters have participated in science workshops at the Belmonte Science Laboratories for Youth on the Edmond J. Safra campus of the Hebrew University at Givat Ram. The Authority for Community and Youth has also provided social activities and classes on the history of Jerusalem. Many of the Hebrew University students who regularly teach at the Belmonte Labs have volunteered their time to teach the youngsters.

The school pupils have been accommodated at the on-campus Beit Bretter youth hostel and have also met with local youngsters. They attended the activities of the local branch of the Israel Scouts movement and, this past Friday night, were hosted for Shabbat eve dinner at the homes of students from the Hebrew University High School, which is situated on the Safra campus.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to host these children from the Gaza periphery, giving them a few days respite from the shelling of their area and at the same time offering them quality scientific enrichment. The students have been enthused about the program and have even asked to come back again,” said Prof. Avishai Dekel, head of the Hebrew University’s Authority for Community and Youth.

The Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University has pledged support for the program. If the rocket attacks continue, it is anticipated that additional funds will be needed.

Photo shows youngsters at the Belmonte Science Laboratories for Youth (photo: Sasson Tiram)

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