- Social & Humanitarian
- The Rebbe
May 13, 2008
(lubavitch.com) It’s not every day that an American film actor hangs out with somebody else’s children, let alone children living in a danger zone. That’s what Jon Voight did Tuesday.
Sderot’s Chabad representative, Rabbi Moshe Z. Pizem, and Sderot’s Mayor Eli Moyal showed the Academy Award winning leading man around the city. Voight’s visit drew wide media attention to the terror that rains down on Sderot multiple times a day, largely to worldwide indifference. In the past week, two individuals were killed by Qassams while out in the street.
Paying close attention to instructions for responding to a color red alert, the actor later said that just about on every block in every neighborhood of the city, he saw shelters. “And when I didn’t see one, I asked” to know where it is in the event of a Kassam warning.
Mr. Voight also visited Sderot’s central police headquarters where he met with Israel’s Minister of Internal Security, Avi Dichter, and examined a few of the thousands of rockets shells that had hit the city.
Since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, Moyal told Voight, the Qassam attacks against this city have intensified, making life here an ongoing terror.
The actor, a proud friend of Israel and a staunch supporter of Chabad-Lubavitch of California, spoke forthrightly about the hatred for Israel that Palestinian children are taught, leading them to terror.
He came to Sderot, he said, because of Sderot's children. Reflecting on his advancing age, the 69 year old actor said said he felt a strong desire to visit the children of Sderot who live with constant trauma and are in real need of hope, joy and help. “That’s why I’m here,” he said.
An anchor to the families and children who have not been able to leave Sderot, Chabad's Rabbi Pizem was grateful for Voight's visit and the worldwide attention it may finally draw to the suffering inflicted on Sderot's residents as they live a nightmare.
Voight spoke passionately of his regard for Israel and the Jewish people. "The story of the Jewish nation is the greatest story in the history of humankind," he said.
"I tell stories, so I know."