Hesder Yeshiva of Sderot
The Hesder Yeshiva of Sderot, known formally as the Max and Ruth Schwartz Yeshivat Hesder of Sderot, was founded in 1994 by Rabbi Dovid Fendel [he]. The yeshiva is located in the town of Sderot, one kilometer from the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Arab town of Beit Hanoun. It is the largest Hesder Yeshiva in all of Israel, with a student body of over 800 students from communities all over the country. In addition to studying, students demonstrate their commitment to the residents of Sderot through many volunteer projects.
After the beginning of the Second Intifada in October 2000, the city has been under constant rocket fire from Qassam rockets launched by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. This brought attention to the yeshiva, which was rebuilt in a series of rocket-proof buildings. Since 2007, the yeshiva has each year lit a Chanukah menorah made out of the spent shells of rockets fired at Sderot from Gaza.
The driving force behind the success and accomplishments of Yeshivat Hesder of Sderot is the Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Dovid E. Fendel.
- A City Under Siege: An Inside View of Sderot, Israel, Anav Silverman, Sderot Media Center, September 20, 2007
- A Town Under Fire Becomes a Symbol for Israel, by Ethan Bronner, New York Times, April 5, 2008
- Kassams Fly, Army Prepares; Volunteers Plan Joyous Chanukah, by Hillel Fendel, Israel National News.com, 11/30/2007
- Sderot to Light Chanukiyah in Memory of IDF Soldiers, by Elad Benari, Israel National News.com, 11/29/2010