ICEJ Donates Playground For Children
Submitted to: Interfaith 
Posted: February 01 2007

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1 February 2007 (Jewswire.com) - The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) dedicated a new playground in Nitzan today as part of its campaign to assist children of Jewish families evacuated from the Gaza Strip during the summer of 2005.

Following the Gaza disengagement, the Christian Embassy launched a drive to assist evicted Israeli families, with a special emphasis on helping children adjust to their new surroundings. Over $200,000 in donations were collected from Christians, and the Nitzan playground is one of several projects being funded by that campaign.

The $50,000 playground in Nitzan was jointly funded by the ICEJ ($30,000) and the Jewish Federation of Houston, Texas ($20,000).

Currently, some 450 evacuee families live in temporary housing in Nitzan, a new community between Ashdod and Ashkelon. Permanent homes will not be ready for at least another two years, and the children have been without basic recreational outlets. The Nitzan playground, which can be dismantled and transferred when the families move to their permanent homes, aims to bring a sense of normalcy to their lives.

A similar ICEJ-funded playground is presently under construction in the Shomron for children evacuated from four Jewish communities in northern Samaria.

"These courageous children have already experienced much trauma in their young lives," said Rev. Malcolm Hedding, ICEJ Executive Director. "We wanted to help ease their adjustment to new surroundings. They really deserve a special place for them just to be kids again."

"This playground is bringing a lot of joy and happiness to 1200 children in Nitzan," said Dror Vanunu, international coordinator for Gush Katif communities. "Unfortunately, many families are still suffering, and many parents are still unemployed. This place will bring relief to both children and parents, and we are thankful for the ICEJ's many contributions to rehabilitating their lives."

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For more information:

Dani Wassner, Ruder Finn Israel, 054-467-6961; dani@ruderfinn.co.il

OR David Parsons, ICEJ 052-381-6214; david.parsons@icej.org

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    Contact Information:
    Chanan Weissman
    International Christian Embassy Jerusalem  

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