The Sderot Hesder Institutions’ three branches comprise Israel’s largest Hesder Yeshiva with 700 students. Headed by Rabbi David Fendel, originally from the United States, the Yeshiva’s heroic stand under fire – in the IDF and in its tireless devotion to the community during the waves of missile attacks, has had a fundamental impact on Sderot, Kiryat Gat and the entire Northwestern Negev Region.
One of the most beautiful Hesder campuses in Israel, the main Sderot campus is totally rocket proof. In the recent “Pillar of Defense” Campaign, while local colleges, schools and Yeshivot all closed down, Sderot’s armored campus enabled all the students to stay on site, providing the only local reservoir of manpower. Hundreds of students and staff were a source of strength, inspiration and assistance to the entire area. The elderly and the infirm were constantly visited, shopped for and helped by the students, who also ran the municipal emergency control center. As medical and technical first responders they were first on the scene, to extend medical aid, clean up debris, comfort the victims and provide a sense of security and pride to the entire town in the face of repeated missile attacks.
The other two branches – Lev LaDaat in Sderot and Derech Chaim in Kiryat Gat are “second chance” Hesder programs geared to students who did not have the benefit of a Yeshiva high school education. These programs are in dire need of new construction of armored buildings – dedications are available.
Another major project is a new state-of-the-art visitors center and museum of heroism called the Sderot Heritage Center. In tribute to Sderot’s unique heroic role in modern Israeli society, this project has already been officially recognized as an official National Heritage Site, even though the building has not yet been completed!
Other projects include: Sderot Community Religious Court, Kollel Dayanut, Kollel Halacha, Senior Citizen’s Kollel, Teacher’s Institute, Youth, High School & IDF Outreach Programs and the Chessed Charity Fund.