Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Creating Righteous Fun

by Naomi E. Shmuel
KNN-Village of Peace
Dimona, Israel

A fun-filled summer is a child’s dream come true. Many dreams are being fulfilled in the African Hebrew Israelite’s Village of Peace in Dimona, Israel, as the children enjoy special activities sponsored by some industrious, caring young adults in the community.

Tseyon Ben Israel and Sharsheyah Baht Israel are now in their second summer sponsoring fun-filled evenings for the children in their community. Every evening they sponsor “Kol Ha Kifar”, a music broadcast of positive sounds, for the children to play by. This creates an uplifting and relaxing mood for children and adults alike. The week is filled with activities such as outdoor movies (pictured), fun and games, skating parties, dance contests and more. The summer program opens and closes with special youth entertainment performances.

The program was conceived in 2008 when, as Tseyon recalls, “We were sitting in the gazebo at the King’s Court, (a social area in the village) watching the children, and they seemed a little bored. So, we decided to provide games and activities to help them have fun.” Tseyon and Sharsheyah initially used their own personal money to fund the program and have continued to do so this year.

This summer, the program was also blessed to receive a generous donation from the Peace of Paradise amutah, a non-profit organization that raises money for children’s educational needs. Aturah Adivah, the head facilitator of the amutah (NGO), expressed joy in giving the donation. “It’s great to see the interest and efforts of youth helping other youth; and because our purpose is to develop and enhance the minds and lifestyles of the youth, we really felt it was worthwhile to donate to this program.”

Tseyon and Sharsheyah’s kind efforts also became contagious this summer, attracting two more young adults to join them in administrating the program. Youths Boaz Ben Israel and Emeyah Baht Israel are active doing whatever is needed. Emeyah also deejays the “Kol Ha Kifar” (the voice of the village), and Boaz treats the children to periodic “free ice cream” nights at his franchise ice cream stand in the community’s small eatery, the 'meeznone'.

The program has been well received and appreciated by children and adults. “The activities are very nice and entertaining for the children and the adults even enjoy the environment and watching the children play. It is so thoughtful of them to create and give the children fun activities to do”, says one mother, Shevnah, whose 9 year old son, has enjoyed the summer activities. Baht Keebah, age 13, says, “I think the activities are really nice. My favorite is the outdoor movies!”

The efforts of these young adults to implement fun activities are a reflection of the communal spirit of The African Hebrew Israelite Community, and express a sincere desire to pass on the legacy of Kingdom Fun to the younger generation. “We always had fun when we were young”, says Tseyon, “but children these days are always in front of the TV or computer, and we just want to encourage a fun, social life for the children”.

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