Sderot - just one kilometer from the Gaza Strip and under relentless missile fire for many years - has become a symbol of the region's remarkable resilience. Despite economic hardship and limited infrastructure, the social fabric of Sderot has remained strong. Students and young determined families have moved to the city to rebuild, revitalize and strengthen the community. It is vital to the people of Sderot, and to all the people of Israel, that with its proximity to Gaza, Sderot continues to grow and flourish and attract more skilled professionals and young families.
In recent years, UJA has focused its partnership in Sderot on youth and community responsibility. Programs were put in place to improve the performance of students at school, encourage community activism and involvement, enable youth to succeed, and encourage young adults to get a college education and well-paying jobs. Last summer, additional emphasis was placed on helping residents of Sderot cope with the trauma of enhanced rocket attacks and the conflict in nearby Gaza.
- 520 students are studying for a first or second degree, an increase of 15% over the last three years
- 30% of teens are active in youth movements
- Crime rates dropped by 25% amongst youth offenders
- 70% of teens are now eligible for a matriculation diploma