Students at Haroeh Elementary School in Sderot, Israel live in a constant state of trauma from the rockets and bombs that have rained down on their city. Their neighborhood is pockmarked with holes and shrapnel. A metal dome is built over the school to protect it from an attack.
“At a moments notice they may need to run to shelters to hide from missiles,” said Jeff Parness, Founder and Executive Director of New York Says Thank You Foundation and Stars of HOPE program. “But with so much fear and uncertainty around them, the children in Sderot still have so much hope.”
Parness delivered Stars of HOPE painted by student at the Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy and Jewish Community Center in Stamford, Connecticut to students and teachers Haroeh Elementary in Sderot. The stars were painted with words kindness, love and hope – forever connecting the students in Connecticut and Israel.
“The stars brought so much hope, smiles, and gratitude to the students, teachers, principal, and Rabbi at Haroeh Elementary,” added Parness. “They were so excited to know that kids in America painted Stars of HOPE for them.”
Some of the children are going to hang the stars in front of the school, some wanted to take them home and hang them in their neighborhood to share hope with others.
“One of the teachers told me she was going to take the star home and hang in her home so she can look at it every day,” said Parness. “The Stars of HOPE will serve as a small daily reminder that there are people all over the world sending hope and love to people in Israel.”