Summer host families are sought for Israeli kids affected by terror
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Summer host families are sought for Israeli kids affected by terror

Some of last year’s visiting Israeli teens relax together. (Courtesy OH, OH.)
Some of last year’s visiting Israeli teens relax together. (Courtesy OH, OH.)

A few more host families are needed for this year’s Open Hearts, Open Homes program.

The group was created in 2002 by the Bergen County YJCC, which then had its headquarters in Washington Township. It responded to the needs of Israeli teens affected by war, violence, and terror. The teens, whose lives forever were changed through the death of a loved one, a personal injury, or living in constant fear, spend three summer weeks enjoying respite, home hospitality, and fun with American peers in a teen travel camp. To date, 450 Israeli teens have participated in the program.

Host families drop off children at the YJCC in Washington Township between 8 and 8:30 each morning and pick them up there at about 5 p.m. Teens spend the day sharing activities with a teen group from the Rockland JCC. This year’s program is from June 30 to July 23. Carpools can be arranged. A few overnights are planned and there are many extra-curricular activities on some nights and weekends.

For information or to volunteer, call Cindy Mendelaw at (201) 739-2906 or email her at mendelaw@optonline.net; email Elana Prezant at Eprezant@yjcc.org, or go to www.JCCbergen.org/teens.

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