Breakththrough Solidarity Mission: Singing Songs About Kassams

This column was written by Dan Brown, founder of ejewishphilanthropy.com, and is crossposted to that esteemed Web site. Dan wrote the columns during and after participating in UJC's next-Gen Breakththrough solidarity mission to Israel's Gaza perimeter region.

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The UJC's Breakthrough Solidarity Mission continued Tuesday morning with a visit to Sderot.

Driving through town, the first thing one notices is the extensive use of concrete reinforcement. Whether it is the small sheltered stations on almost every corner (especially where no underground shelters exist) or the concrete roof built over an outdoor basketball court, one cannot escape being aware of the continuing threat to residents and visitors. Something CNN, which was camped out near the police station, didn't seem to be processing.

Our first stop was a kindergarten - complete with a concrete case draping the building for added protection. All four sides plus the roof. The kids had been out of school since Chanukah and this morning was only their second day back. Like kindergartners everywhere, they seemed happy, verbal and glad to be in school. To us, as observers, you could have picked up the students and classroom and dropped it pretty much anywhere in the U.S. and it would have fit right in.

But, as we all know, life in Sderot is anything but normal. And for this age group, which hasn't known anything since birth of life without alerts and bombs, the trauma was hidden under the surface. To help alleviate the ongoing stress, the JDC has initiated a program to assist the children in remaining calm, helping them quickly move to the safe rooms when the siren sounds. For in Sderot, children and adults alike, build up anxiety - and they know running as fast as you can may save your life.

A song was written for young children, a nursery rhyme set to music, they sing as soon as the sirens go off - a preventative tool to help remain calm and to teach them what to do. The song transforms the warning siren, a frenzied time of chaos and fear, to a time of reassurance and calm.

Listening to the kids practice was a particularly moving experience.

A song to the "Red Color"

Hurry hurry hurry to a safe place

Hurry hurry hurry because it's dangerous

My heart is beating - boom boom boom

My body is shaking - doom doom doom

But I am overcoming

Cause I am a little bit different

Falling down - boom


We may now stand up

We shake our body - shake shake shake

We loosen our legs - loosen loosen loosen

We will breath in deep

We will blow out as far as possible

We will breathe in deep

We can laugh

It's all gone


And I feel good it's over

Yesssss!"