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My Israel

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
 
Over the past four and a half months America has been my home and you have been my family. Spending time with Adelson Campus students and faculty, along with the Jewish community of Las Vegas has been an incredible experience. I’ve learned so much from so many of you. It brings me so much joy to share my Israel with you, to describe the culture, lifestyle, and customs. It’s why I wanted to join the Shinshinim program, sharing my story gives me great joy and you will always see a smile on my face. However, recently my smile has given way to concern and worry for my family and friends in Israel.
 
Over the past weeks, I have been closely watching the escalated tensions and dangerous situation near my home in Kibbutz Dorot, which is about 3 miles from Gaza. Life next to the Gaza strip has never been easy for me. Being born in the middle of a conflict affected my entire life, and is now causing me great stress when watching the news.
 
You see, my phone alerts me to possible rocket attacks. I have an app that warns me when a rocket attack is happening near my home. My family and friends have only 8 seconds to reach a shelter once the sirens go off warning everyone of an imminent attack. In the past week, my phone app has gone off 5 times. Each time my heart sinks and, since there is no internet connection in the shelters, I have no way of contacting my family and friends to confirm if they are safe. The shelter is in lockdown for 10 minutes after the siren has sounded in case of any toxic gas or shrapnel. Each time those ten minutes feel like days.
 
 
I'm writing this because I want you to understand what it’s like to live next to Gaza, what life is like now in Israel, and why my smile has disappeared recently. The other day a rocket hit my kibbutz. So far, everyone is ok because they safely made it to the shelter. Telling you about this is therapeutic for me and helps me cope with my worry and fear for my family and friends. Hugs also help.
 
It’s hard to live so far away from my family and friends at this time but, having the opportunity to tell my story and share this with you, comforts me more than you know.
 
My door is always open to anyone who wants to learn more and please join me in my hope for peace.
 
Thank you,
Raz Calimi
 
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Adelson Educational Campus.