For over 20 years, the student-soldiers at the Max and Ruth Schwartz Yeshivat Hesder Sderot, currently Israel’s largest Hesder Yeshiva, have played a central role in giving back to their community.
Located just a kilometer from the border with Hamas-controlled Gaza, and despite being under rocket fire since 2001, the institution has become part of the fabric of Sderot, serving as a hub of Torah learning, combined with army service, and chesed, in the western Negev.
In Israel’s most recent military campaign dubbed “Guardian of the Walls,” over 25 of the Hesder students served in Sderot’s “neighborhood emergency response team.”
These volunteers arrived at the scene of rocket landings going door to door to identify and assist those who might have been affected.
Often times during rocket attacks there are those who go into shock (the elderly in particular) traumatized from the incident, and board themselves up inside their apartments. The emergency volunteers find those in need of care, whether physical or psychological, and call in the appropriate professionals to provide assistance.