ICEJ AID Assistant with sponsored school bags

By Laurina Driesse

At this time of the year, there is an undeniable excitement in the air, as children eagerly anticipate the start of a new school year. Armed with brand new school bags and stationery supplies, they set off to acquire new knowledge!

However, for many children of newly immigrated Jewish families in Israel, the excitement of the new school year is often clouded with uncertainty and extreme challenges, as they adjust to cultural differences and learning the Hebrew language.

The Christian Embassy recently helped make the transition into the new school year a lot easier for 350 mostly Russian and Ukrainian Jewish immigrant children, through our sponsorship of school bags and stationery.

Child looking to see what is inside the backpack
Children curious to see what is inside the backpack.

Anticipation and laughter filled the hall as the children participated in a fun-filled concert and enjoyed some snacks, while eagerly awaiting their time for choosing a favorite school bag, and the surprise of seeing what was hidden inside!

“I would like to thank the ICEJ from the bottom of my heart,” said Sasson, who organized the event. It is important for us to be a light to them. It may seem like a small thing, but it is huge. For many of them, even to buy a school bag like this is a big challenge. Many of these people came to Israel without any money. They had to just leave and run away. We have this opportunity to give them a blessing, and I’m really thankful to the ICEJ for joining us and for giving in the right place.”

In addition, the ICEJ also recently supported 100 Arab children in Bethlehem and Jericho to acquire new school bags and stationery. The smiles on the children’s faces were so precious as their excitement was almost too much to contain when receiving their new school bags.

Sisters eager to share the dreams and aspirations.

ICEJ Aid assistant Jannie Tolhoek chatted with some of the children to hear their dreams and aspirations of what they would like to become one day when they grow up. Three sisters eagerly spoke up.

“I want to become a vet” said Ilana, while her sister Evelyn insisted, “I want to be a teacher.”

“I want to be an orphanage owner”, added the third sister Alicia.

Alas, may their dreams be fulfilled!

“We want to thank you for doing this project for our church and our kids,” shared Arab Pastor Naim Khoury. “I think it’s very important for them also to feel that somebody cares. The situation is so very difficult in the families especially with lack of work and jobs. Most of them do not work and do not have an income. I’m so thankful that giving them the school bags helps them to go back to school. We are so thankful to have you come today and distribute the bags.”          

The impact of the ICEJ in sponsoring these school bags and stationery runs deeper than the tangible supplies. It restores confidence in these children, boosts their self-esteem, fills them with enthusiasm for learning, and ultimately gives them hope for a brighter future! With their new school bags, these children can enter the school year with a sense of belonging and readiness to embrace the challenge ahead of learning new things.

Thank you for partnering with the ICEJ. Your support enables us to make a difference and give a future and a hope to those in need here in the Land of Israel.

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