Some 50 children born to Jewish mothers and Arab fathers participated in special, separate camps organized for them by Yad L'Achim. The children were rescued with their mothers over the past year and have been under the ongoing care of social workers and mentors assigned by Yad L'Achim.
"The purpose of the camps is to bring the children closer to the Jewish people, to give them good experiences mixed in with Jewish activities, and to give their mothers, who are single parents, some breathing space during the summer vacation," said Mrs. Suri Kostelitz, from Yad L'Achim's counter-assimilation department.
The camps are being held in the north in two spacious facilities that feature swimming pools and offer the children fun, enrichment and nature hikes. Among other things, the children learned about the Three Weeks, the mourning period between Shiva Asar B'Tamuz and Tisha B'Av, and accepted upon themselves to treat others properly and shower them with "baseless love."
An especially moving moment came when the staff at the girls camp organized a surprise Bas Mitzvah for one of the girls. The youngster was moved to tears and thanked Yad L'Achim for being a warm, supportive family to her and her mother.
The next day, in the boys camp, a Bar Mitzvah was held for a youngster who put on Tefillin for the first time and was called to the Torah. After celebrations marking the festive events were held, a talk was delivered in both camps on the importance of accepting the yoke of Torah and mitzvos and thanking Hashem that they had merited to continue the dynasty of generations of Judaism, despite what they had been through.
Surprise Bas Mitzvah. This cake was presented to a girl who reached the age of mitzvos.
The Bar Mitzvah boy is carried on the shoulders of one of the counselors.
Rabbi Moshe Cohen helps one of the campers
Shacharis with some of the older campers.
Performer Victor Attia gives a special performance.