Children 4 Israel Launches Internet Video Chat Between US, Israel Schools

Jewish children in the Greater Hartford area show support and
make friends through Internet chat with their "cousins" in Sderot, Israel
. Photo: Israel News Agency

By Lisa Klein
Israel News Agency

New York, New York --- December 2, 2012 ... Children 4 Israel, a non-profit, humanitarian organization providing emotional support to the children of Israel, launched it's international, Internet video chat service today between the US and Israel.

The first video chat to ever take place between Jewish youth institutions in and outside of Israel was organized by Leyden Digital PR, Temple Beth Hillel of South Windsor, CT, the Sderot Media Center and the Chabad Center of Sderot, Israel.

"This was truly one of the most effective and powerful illustrations of support for the children of Israel by Jewish children miles away," said Children 4 Israel Executive Director Joel Leyden.

"It was truly amazing to witness children in the US learning about their Jewish cousins in Israel, showing support to thousands of children in Israel who have suffered under unprovoked missile and rocket terror attacks from Gaza. These kids have so much in common. And this international program breaks down expensive travel, passports, time zones and diverse cultures in bringing them together in a safe, fun and educational manner."

The 5th, 6th and 7th grade children were more than 6,000 miles apart, but their interests could not have been closer. From talking about their activities in and out of school, their favorite TV programs, shopping and sports to which animals they have in their zoos, the foods they eat for breakfast and their appreciation of Torah could not have been more similar.

Overall over 70 children took part in the pilot program whose success was self-evident by their smiles and laughter.

Children 4 Israel's mission statement states that they "are Jews, Christians, Muslims in North, South America, Europe and Far East united for the welfare of children in Israel. Children 4 Israel declares that Israel has a right to defend herself against terrorism and her children have a right to live in peace."

Children 4 Israel is now coordinating several more programs with the Jewish Federations of North America, Temples in the US and Jewish organizations in Canada, South America and Europe.

Photo: Israel News Agency

"Sue Weinman, the school principal of Temple Beth Hillel in Connecticut and Rabbi Pizem, Director of Sderot Beit Chabad are the ones who really turned this concept of using the inexpensive yet convenient Internet as a means for Jewish children around the globe to communicate, learn and create relationships with one another," said Leyden.

"But perhaps the most touching moments were when both the Israeli and American children sang Hanukkah songs together. There were no cultural differences there as the children knew both the words and the sweetness of the holiday." - Children 4 Israel Executive Director Joel Leyden

"The children in Israel taught the American children some Hebrew as the kids in the US asked for their email addresses to maintain their new friendships. But perhaps the most touching moments were when both the Israeli and American children sang Hanukkah songs together. There were no cultural differences there as the children knew both the words and the sweetness of the holiday."

"There was never a time in Israel where children truly needed emotional support from their Jewish cousins around the world. Over 75 percent of the children in the south of Israel now suffer from PTSD as a result of Hamas missiles and terror attacks on Sderot, Beer Sheva, Ashdod and Ashkelon. These traumatized kids have less than 15 seconds to run from their beds and living rooms to underground air raid shelters. We believe that this creative program will help heal the wounds of war and provide a better understanding for both Jewish children and their parents in the US, Canada, South America and Europe as to the harsh realities that Jewish children in Israel must adapt to. Nothing is more powerful than the comfort and security of a smile. And that is the gift that Children 4 Israel is now creating."

Children 4 Israel, which can be found on Facebook, is seeking both school teachers to coordinate future, online programs and investors to continue its reach to every child in Israel. For more information, please write to children4israel at


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