Twenty Israeli families from towns near Gaza were sent on a free vacation to Eilat this weekend by Israeli-Americans who decided to band together to give these families living near the tumultuous Gaza Strip one last taste of summer before it ends. Launched by the Israeli-American Council (IAC), the umbrella organization for Israelis living in the U.S., the “Bring Back the Summer” campaign raised funds that allowed the IAC to arrange for dozens of families in the cities and towns that were under fire all summer to go on a free weekend at the Red Sea resort, staying at Hotel Leonardo Eilat, to provide them some rest and relaxation after weeks of missile attacks and war. Several additional families will be sent in the coming weeks.
IAC worked directly with local heads of cities near Gaza, such as the Eshkol Regional Council, to send local families, particularly those of security personnel, who did not get to leave during the war on this special vacation weekend. Israeli-American supporters of the campaign wrote their own messages and letters to the Israeli families, adding a personal touch to this grassroots effort. Nineteen additional families who were slated to go on this vacation had members who were pulled back into active duty. These families will be sent on vacation at a later date. In total, 62 Israeli children from the area will have gone on vacation thanks to the “Bring Back the Summer Campaign.”
“Children in southern Israel spent most of their summer vacation in bomb shelters or in cities far from home to escape the constant rocket fire,” said Shawn Evenhaim, Chairman of the Board of the IAC. “The IAC feels it’s important to bring back the summer to these children and their families and enable them, after a harrowing few months, to enjoy some fun away from the Gaza border before the season ends.”
About the IAC:
The Israeli American Council (IAC), the preeminent Israeli-American organization in the United States, seeks to build an active and giving Israeli-American Community in order to strengthen the State of Israel, the next generation, and to provide a bridge to the Jewish-American community. Based in Los Angeles with offices nationwide, the IAC serves an estimated 750,000 Israelis in the U.S. today with a large variety of programs and events for all ages, and supports a wide range of other community non-profit organizations. For more information about the IAC, please visit www.israeliamerican.org.