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Posted: 5/10/2002 9:13:54 AM EDT
[url]http://cbs2.com/mideast/StoryFolder/story_79719970_html/index_html[/url] KCBS Students Raise Money For Bulletproof Vests Money To Buy Vests For Israeli Schoolchildren (SEATTLE) (AP) May 9, 2002 8:08 am When the Seattle Hebrew Academy's incoming eighth grade trip to Israel was canceled because of safety concerns, students turned to fund raising to buy bulletproof vests for schoolchildren in Israel. The seventh graders were expected to raise no more than $500 but got more than $10,000, tops among about 170 schools worldwide that participated in the vest fund-raising campaign, headmaster Rabbi Shmuel Kay told a school assembly Wednesday. ``In America, we don't have to think about the danger,'' said Martin Willner, a seventh grader who knocked on doors to solicit donations. Classmate Maynie Azose said he wanted to support Israel as much as he could and was concerned about people his age living in conditions that ``are not safe at all.'' Every day, Azose said, ``we pray a special prayer for them.'' The money, mostly gathered in small individual donations, was given to the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle to be sent to the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation, which sponsored the drive. ``On the one hand I'm really proud of the kids, that they went out and did this,'' said Kent Swigard, parent of a student at the academy and of an older son who is studying in Jerusalem. ``At the same time,'' Swigard said, ``I can't help but feel enormously saddened that little kids are in a situation where they have to do this.'' The Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, whose goal is to change Israeli government policy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, estimates that 247 Israeli and Palestinian minors have died in fighting and suicide bombings between September 2000 and March 2002. Students in Israel wear bulletproof vests mostly on school buses, especially on routes serving Jewish schools and settlements on the West Bank. (© 2002 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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