The project "IN THE FIRE OF WAR" is aimed at women and children in the Middle East, and wherever they are in direct threat of military or terrorist activities, or become passive participants in them.
Near East
This area is the most terrorist-dominated part of the world. We work with a charity in Sderot - a city with a population of 20,000, located 2 km from the Gaza Strip. Inhabitants are struggling to survive due to the damage caused by thousands of rockets. The volunteers working there get up early in the morning to prepare hundreds of sandwiches for children from seven local schools. Children who usually have nothing to eat come mainly from immigrant families from Ethiopia, Belarus and Ukraine. They are often raised by single mothers. We also visit patients in hospitals - injured or suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD.

Why do we help in SDEROT?

Sderot is a city with 20,000 inhabitants. It is located in southwestern Israel, about 2 km. from the Gaza Strip, and at the nearest point 830m. The 'Tzewa Adom' or 'Red Light' alarms, which are triggered when the rocket is launched from Gaza, are heard over there several times a month and sometimes several times a week.
Michael, the facility manager, talks about the nights they spent in the shelters when 40 rockets were dropped in one night. In the beginning, there were huge tragedies, children and adults died, but the city did not give up. Today, "at every step" you can find shelters. Each bus stop in the city is a shelter, in each apartment block there are special rooms with this function, some toys in children's playgrounds are shelters, such as a large, colourful caterpillar on one of them. No one has died in Sderot in ten years, thanks to the utmost caution and protection of the uniformed services.
Sderot is a special place in all of Israel in terms of the peculiarities of its population. The situation brought together the poorest Jewish population in this place and, at the same time, the community most at risk. When the Jews wanted to return to Israel, and they had no property or any financial resources, they would just come to Sderot, where the cheapest apartments have always been and still are available. And so Jews emigrated here mainly from Africa, including Ethiopia, and from the former Soviet bloc: Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan and others. Why the cheapest flats - it's not hard to guess. If it weren't for the latter, who would want to live in Sderot? One of the Polish newspapers reported that it had become the most bombed city in the world in the last 15 years. Sderot is also home to Israeli Arabs, Bedouins and Arab families who fled Gaza as a result of Hamas' oppression of the local population. All these people, paradoxically, found refuge in this small Jewish town.
More about the situation on the border with the Gaza Strip
Together with Yeshi - the director of Hands of Mercy - I went to the border with the Gaza Strip to capture some interesting places through a lens. Horizons with Gaza, and at a 90-degree rotation from the same place - horizons from Sderot, a military bunker, a tunnel dug by the Arabs for terrorist attacks, a memorial park for relentless warfare and a kibbutz / village that is located between Gaza and Sderot.
In February 2016, we witnessed the discovery of another terrorist tunnel by the police forces and therefore we sent this information: "Please, keep this message! Today at night, on the edge of the city, in a wooded area, another tunnel was found, finished and prepared. The tunnel would hold tens or even hundreds of terrorists capable of murdering or kidnapping hundreds of people in the city before anyone knew it. ”About 10,000 militants in Gaza are prepared just to attack Sderot and other Israeli cities from under the ground. They are dressed in Israeli uniforms and equipped with exactly the same weapons as the Israelis, which gives them a great advantage over civilians who would not be able to recognize at first whether they are Israeli services or terrorists near Israeli schools but hidden in the forest, which indicates a good understanding of the area that is further marked. However, there are Arabs in Israel - citizens of Israel - collaborating with Hamas. Another tunnel that has been discovered indicates that despite attacks on Israelis throughout Israel and threats from the north, the Gaza Strip is now the most dangerous place in Israel. We also ask you to be our Ambassadors wherever you are. Thank you. "
A story of a young girl about everyday life under fire from Gaza rockets. She lives in the Israeli kibbutz Nir Am, which is translated in the film as a city, in fact a village, between Sderot and the Gaza Strip. Every time I drive into the city, I pass Nir Am and think of these brave kibbutz people, especially the women and children. I invite you to listen, subtitles in Polish.
Israel stopped the shipment of toys, 4,000 dolls declared as clothing - in a container from the United Arab Emirates to the Palestinian Authority. These dolls are figures of terrorists with stones in their hands and terrorist scarves - "kefiyami", as well as shawls with a drawing of the "Golden Dome" and the words "Jerusalem is ours - we are coming to you". Such dolls are designed to raise children to hate them from an early age, which results in terrorist attacks by the children who die. In fact, this kind of education is aimed at the lives of these children, but the world still does not see it and no one objects.
This is how the shops in Gaza with trendy clothing for terrorists look like. It is by no means similar to the sight of "poor ruined Gaza" that is being promoted in Europe and the world. Neither does this picture indicate the prosperity of Gaza. As in any corrupt system, the closer to power, the greater the wealth, but in reality most residents suffer from many shortages, including building materials, which they cannot receive from the city administration to this day, even though they were intended for this purpose. I wrote earlier about Gazans' conversations with journalists in which they discovered their pain and disappointment.
Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, admitted for the first time that: "There is no doubt that the daash (IS) is located and operating in the Gaza Strip, and who denies it is afraid of the truth." Pictured: With a Gaza resident who came to the Hands of Mercy for help as she escaped from Gaza and found refuge among Jewish settlers in Sderot.
In Israel, young girls are being killed for their country. The youngest are 18 years old - this is the age of starting military service. They are also killed in other uniformed services - border and police. Hadar Cohen - an Israeli policewoman was murdered a few days ago. She was only 19 years old. The attack was carried out by three Palestinian terrorists armed with automatic pistols, knives and bombs. Thanks to her swift action, she stopped and foiled a large-scale attack in Jerusalem, saving the lives of thousands. In the photo, Hadar with his parents a few weeks before his death.
Sderot Military Museum?
Exactly. These are not photos from the Polish Army Museum, or even from the museum in Sderot. It's just an ordinary police station in the city. These are not "monuments" from the previous generations, they are "still warm", shards of rockets cleaned from the streets of the city, which are shot at random - also at these children below. These are not sporadic incidents, they are a regular war, not declared to the state, but declared to its citizens - both big and small, because everyone is being shot at and without announcement - and regardless of whether a ceasefire has just been announced. And you don't shoot only when there is nothing left. During the course of 14 years, several times a week and sometimes several times a day. Currently - relative peace. Question - what next? Much depends on the level of awareness of societies in the world, which TV does not help. Most people are reading about it for the first time on our website.
Newborns on the front line
High levels of stress from rocket attacks in southern Israel, especially in Sderot, are causing aberrant newborns observed by scientists at Ben Gurion University, Barzilai Hospital, and the Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy Research. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between exposure to stress of a pregnant woman due to anti-missile warning alarms and the risk of spontaneous miscarriage. The Barzilai Hospital in Kiryat Gat was selected for comparison. The research was carried out in 2001 and 2008, during the largest Sderot rocket strike from Gaza, and the city of Kiryat Gat was out of rocket range. Researchers noticed a difference in the birth rate of boys to girls. In Sderot, it was 49.5 percent of boys for 50.5 percent of girls, and in the general population: 51 boys for every 49 girls. The study also found differences in birth weight where there was a definite decrease in birth weight in Sderot, as well as more premature deliveries and cases of microcephaly or small head circumference. Girls born in Sderot had a 44 percent greater chance of weighing less than 2.5 kg and a 50 percent chance of being born before 37 weeks gestation. The risk of microcephaly was almost twice as high for girls, and for boys it was 20-27 percent higher.
'Mother's exposure to stress from rocket attacks is becoming a risk factor for low birth weight, premature delivery and microcephaly primarily among female fetuses,' commented Dr Tamar Weinstock of Ben Gurion University. The difference in the birth rate of boys to girls has become more difficult for scientists to explain. The study authors theorized that this could be related to different responses in the placenta. "Female fetuses are generally more resistant to stress," says Eyal Anteby, head of the Gynecology and Obstetrics Unit at Barzilai Hospital. It has been suggested that more pregnancies with male fetuses could possibly result in more miscarriages.
What are the people of Gaza themselves saying?
Article dated 8/11/15 by chief Palestinian analyst and commentator. The following are the building materials that were delivered to the Gaza Strip until 6 July to rebuild the damage it suffered after the last war:
  • 3,281 trucks with 131,240 tons of cement
  • 353 trucks with 12,355 tons of steel
  • 3,380 trucks with 135,200 tons of gravel
  • 276 trucks with 11,040 tons of cement for Qatar's projects
  • 19,628 trucks with 785,120 tons of gravel for Qatar's projects
These figures show that the management in Gaza could coordinate a total of 142,280 tons of cement for the city's reconstruction, but as it turned out, these deliveries went to dealers who operate under the influence of Hamas. The people of Gaza are beginning to wonder what Hamas is going to do with this huge amount of cement. It is speculated that no one can pick up even a bag of cement as it is only allowed for the construction of bunkers and attack tunnels. In Gaza, it is no secret that Hamas is preparing for another confrontation with Israel, so cement is needed as more sacrifices, more destruction and more deaths are foreseen.
Here are the statements of the indignant Palestinians:
"Hamas took us to the war and we said OK. We were threatened to be treated as collaborators if we left our homes, so we didn't and our homes were destroyed over our heads. Only by God's grace we did not die, but we were left with nothing more. We could buy very expensive building materials on the black market while Hamas members enjoy a comfortable life and rebuild their homes. I dream of a government that can provide a better life for me and my sons. " Another man asked said: "We are proud that Hamas gave us protection during the war, but this protection has come at a very high price: the destruction of our homes. Today, the government has a comfortable life and we suffer and nobody cares for us. We are still waiting for it. fulfillment of the promise of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, but it is becoming more and more clear that it was all a lie. So we are only waiting for the grace of God, "and he cried out about his longing for a son and a home. Another Gaza resident said, "I am at the mercy of a government of hypocrisy (he says" Palestinian unity government "). To build my dilapidated house again, I should borrow money as we have very little money from the government. Unfortunately, I can't find anyone to lend me the money . "
The people of Gaza are also concerned about UNRWA's financial problems. They wonder if the agency will be forced to cancel one academic year at its schools. Another citizen complained about UNRWA's failure to settle the ravages of war: If someone visits Gaza and wants to see the true face of corruption, he will find it in the government. Unfortunately, UNRWA still does not comment on this matter and does not confront the statements. It follows that the people of Gaza no longer trust anyone who promises to solve the problems of the coastal strip, in particular in the areas of reconstruction and electricity. The phrase that is heard most often among the people of Gaza is: "We would like the Israeli civilian administration to return."
source: israel heute
Several Jewish families who were deported from Gush Katif in 2005 are moving from the north to Jerusalem looking for permanent housing. These families live in temporary quarters at the Neve Yam Kibbutz near Atlit. 10 years after the evacuation of Gush Katif, the housing and work support they lost with the dedication of Gush Katif are still not provided. Gush Kathif (Hebrew: גוש קטיף) consisted of 21 Israeli settlements in the south of the Gaza Strip. In August 2005, the Israeli army carried out a deportation action and forcibly removed 8,600 Gush Kathif residents from their homes. Their settlements were demolished as part of Israel's unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Jews have lived in Gaza since biblical times. The famous rabbi Israel Najara, the author of Kah Ribon Olam, a popular song about the Sabbath, lived here in the Middle Ages. Before the residents were deported, they were persecuted and many died. On November 20, 2000, the school bus was bombed, several children died, and others were mutilated. Three Cohen children lost their legs in one of the attacks. These attacks repeated themselves over and over.
Economic consultants estimate the cost of shutting down the entire agricultural sector in Gaza at $ 450,000 a day in lost income. The Arab inhabitants of Gaza did not develop either construction or agricultural facilities for their further development of the region. As it turned out, the Gush Katif estates along with the ruins of synagogues were used as objects of terrorist groups, i.e. ammunition, rocket and launcher depots. The synagogues were included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, but the Palestinians set them on fire.

Heart adoption

"Heart Adoption" is a program to help families from Sderot, a town in southwestern Israel, 2 km from Gaza.
Polish families provide financial support and establish contact with Israeli families chronically exposed to terrorist attacks.
If you are interested in joining our program, please contact us by e-mail. We send the database of families and children covered by the program who are waiting for their Adoption Guardian to the address provided. Maybe one of the children is waiting just for you.
We would also like to ask for support for the project from companies that could sponsor the arrival of "Heart Adoption" pupils to Poland. It would be an unforgettable time for Polish families - Adoption Guardians to meet with their children.

Visit Sderot

We invite you to a volunteer trip to Sderot, a SHELTER CITY located 2 km from the Gaza Strip.
A trip unlike any other!
You will get to know the direct life of the inhabitants of Israel: Jewish emigrants from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine, Israeli Arabs and Bedouins. You will get to know the inhabitants of the small town of Sderot, their culture and customs, hear their real life stories in direct conversations with them. On weekends you will visit tourist places in Israel and most importantly - you will bring support and hope where they need it!
We help!
Volunteers prepare sandwiches for children from seven local schools. Children who most often have nothing to eat come mainly from immigrant families from Ethiopia, Belarus and Ukraine. They are often raised by single mothers. They also visit the sick in hospitals - the injured or those with post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD and other sufferers, and visit children and their families covered by the "Adopcja Serca" program at home. Visiting Shoa Survivors is also a source of great joy for both the visitor and the visited. Volunteers bring a lot of warmth with their presence and put a smile on the faces of these special, elderly people.
Volunteer work is also done in the garden and on minor repairs. It is possible to volunteer individually, as a couple or in a small group. We are also very happy to cooperate with volunteers - reporters, both those with a light pen and those who feel good behind the camera lens.
The minimum stay for short-term volunteering in Sderot is 2 weeks.
Accommodation costs are covered by the facility; costs of flights, public transport and meals – volunteer.

How do we help at SDEROT?

Agata Wiktoria Śmierzyńska, president of the foundation, tells the story.

We help in cooperation with the Hands of Mercy charity. It began operating in Jerusalem many years ago, but after the southern coast region was handed over to the Arabs - today the so-called Gaza - the city of Sderot has become the most vulnerable in Israel and Yeshi Reinhard, the founder of the foundation, decided to organize help where it was most needed. For this purpose, he rented a small center in the center of a city with 20,000 inhabitants.
When I first arrived at the facility, I saw a white tent just off Herzel Street, which on weekdays serves as a clothing warehouse, and on holidays - a concert "shell". I entered the tent through the gate and further towards the small buildings that served as offices and accommodation for volunteers. Right at the entrance to the office there was a large round table which, I found out later, every weekday at At 9:30 am, all volunteers, workers and residents of the city are invited to pray together and read the Tanakh (Old Testament writings). Everyone can drink their morning coffee or tea and enjoy the time together. Christians, messianic, orthodox and non-religious Jews sit together at this table, everyone can feel welcome. Behind the table there is a building where jewelry is made for sale to generate funds. Ora, always smiling and full of warmth, orthodox Jew, works on the jewelery making. At the back of the facility, there is a small garden with herbs and vegetables and stalls for animals - currently goats, rabbits and chickens ... The director introduced the animals to the facility to - as he says - "de-stress children" while playing with them. And on the roof of the office, and on the roof of the jewelery making building, there are volunteer rooms with canvas roofs - like in a tent. In such conditions, in the morning, the sun or the singing of birds wake up.
Every day, after morning coffee, Yeshi and the facility manager, Michael Beener, agree with the employees and volunteers on the schedule of activities or modify it depending on the current needs. There is a lot to do in the facility. Every morning, preparing and delivering sandwiches for children to local schools, then segregating and distributing clothes, food packages and diapers for children, delivering catering on specific days and times, visiting patients in hospitals and families in their care, working in the garden and making products jewelry, as well as for men: renovation and construction works.
Below, an article by Awa Fijołek, our former volunteer:

An extraordinary man, an extraordinary biography

In 2019, we said goodbye to our longtime friend and partner Yeshi Reinhard, founder and director of the Hands of Mercy humanitarian facility. His heart stopped working, but his love for people and God continues. We miss you, but we believe we haven't parted ways forever. See you Yeshi. This is his story.
Ye'shi was raised in an American village in a Christian family. She says about her mother that she was the epitome of goodness, full of devotion to others. He began his youth armed with arms as he entered the brutal world of the Vietnam War, on the brink of life and death, experiencing the loss of close friends, soldiers fighting side by side. After the war, he studied at the film school, entering the world of Hollywood movies and began his career in the "dream factory". It was also the heyday of the hippie movement, the lifestyle of which it adopted.
Ten years later, he experiences a critical moment that completely changed the course of his life. Ye'shi talks about meeting God and your decision to follow Him. He also accepts fully the Jewish identity inherited from his father and returns home - to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, Ye'shi establishes the Hands of Mercy organization, the aim of which is to support the weakest and least adapted to life in Israel Jews, as well as soldiers. He wins the love and sympathy of not only Jewish communities but many Arabs who see him as a genuine concern for every human being, regardless of the nation and color of the skin. While walking around Jerusalem with Ye'shi, no matter what neighborhood we are in - Jewish or Arabic - I often hear friendly calls of his name and loud greetings. Ye'shi never passes by indifferently by a man lying in the street, he bends over almost everyone looking for help. When Hamas seized Gaza on the basis of promises of "peace", the people of southwestern Israel found themselves under constant oppression and rocket attacks. Ye'shi then moved his service to the people where it was needed most. He founded a charity in Sderot - a city located 2 km from the Gaza Strip. He introduced support programs in the poorest and most endangered region of the country.
I remember one of the alarms in April last year. We were in a park that had no shelter. Ye'shi called up the whole scattered team and simply announced, "And now we will praise God." No one escaped, no one lay down on the ground, and no one covered his face. We raised our hands and, with the sound of the alarm from Tzeva Adom, proclaimed the victory of God Abraham Isaac and Jacob. The one who helped Israel in the time of prophets and kings - This one has power only to keep us today and give victory to Israel! Ye'shi, following the prophets, leads an extremely modest life. He sleeps on a fold-out bed in the organization's office, no bedside lamp or wardrobe. Most of the year he travels around the world invited to Christian and Jewish communities in America, Australia, East Asia, the Pacific Islands and Western Europe. To keep fit - he runs every day at 6.00 am, because, as he says, there is still so much to do ... The life of Ye'shi Reinhardt is an example of total devotion and service to God and people.