The cost of idealism

As part of its ongoing efforts to boost awareness of the crisis facing the people of Sderot and other towns on the Gaza perimeter, UJC and its partners JAFI and JDC recently brought editors from American Jewish newspapers to the region, where the journalists stayed with local families, took shelter during kassam strikes, and examined the programs that funding from North American Jewry sustains.

We'll post links to the coverage here so you can see what perspectives these journalists brought home with them.

Today's serving is from Josh Lipowsky of the New Jersey Jewish Standard.

David Tourgemond shows the devastation to his Sderot home after a kassam rocket hit. He is waiting for government funding to make repairs. Photo: Jonathan Levine/UJC

In "Sderot: The cost of Idealism," his main story about the mission, Lipowsky interviews a wide range of residents, from those who wish to stay on for idealistic reasons, to those who plan to leave as soon as possible.

In the former category is Nitai Schreiber, who is adamant about staying but conflicted about how his decision is affecting his children. "This is the dilemma of the parent and the caregiver. [The children] understand their parents are idealists. Their issue is, ‘Why do we have to suffer for your values?’"

In February, Schreiber, who runs a community service agency supported by JAFI and JDC, wrote an appeal on this blog called 'An Appeal to The Prime Minister.' where he implored the government and army, "Don’t abandon us because the Kassams don’t reach Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa."

Like many of the other journalists on the trip, Lipowsky also wrote about the experience of spending even a single night within range of the kassams. (A night under threat of fire)

He describes the dichotomy of attitudes betwen those near Gaza, and those in the rest of Israel: the deputy mayor of Ashkelon, the largest city within missile range of Gaza, says "The people on the street want retaliation."  But when Lipowsky goes to Tel Aviv: "I hear about the strike on Nir Oz that Friday morning [which killed one and wounded two]... It is not mentioned on BBC, and nobody I speak to on the streets knows anything about it."

The Standard also published two related editorials, Helping Sderot and A Tale of Two Leaderships.