Staff and parents at cross-communal primary school Alma in Barnet hastily rearranged half-term plans in order to run a day camp this week for Israeli children.
More than 40 children whose families had come to the UK shortly before the Hamas attack on October 7 and had been unable to return or whom had been brought here since by their parents enjoyed dance, sport and other activities.
The Kaytana (day camp) was set up in partnership with UJIA and the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI).
One of the chidren, Aya, ten, said: “It’s cool that there is English and Hebrew, so every child can speak with someone. It’s really fun to be with children my age.”
Noam, eight, said: “It was so good that I forgot I was in England. It felt like being at a camp in Israel.”
Ruth, an Israeli parent, said: “During a time of huge upheaval and dysregula-tion, it’s great that there is something that is supportive, loving and nurturing for children.”
Alma’s head, Marc Shoffren, said: “At a time when we are struggling as a community with the terrible events of October 7 and what has followed, I’m both proud and grateful that our school community has been able to do something positive.”
Meanwhile, Noam Masorti Youth has welcomed Israeli childen stranded in the UK to its regular camp.
Noam’s head, Miki Friend, said: “As a Zionist youth movement, Noam Masorti Youth has a duty to support Israel and Israelis.
“At the heart of our work is community-building, and we are lucky enough to have the expertise to provide fun and meaningful experiences for young Israeli children who are feeling vulnerable, giving their parents the opportunity to restore while they settle in to life in the UK.”