About the Art Shelter Project

Since the early 2000’s Palestinian terror groups have been indiscriminately targeting civilian communities by launching rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip into Israel. When the “Red Alert” incoming rocket warning is sounded, residents of those communities which are closest to the border, within 0-7 kms, have between 0-15 seconds to protect themselves before the rocket explodes. Due to this reality, rocket-proof shelters have been scattered around the communities along the border with the Gaza Strip. To begin with, they were placed throughout Sderot and communities surrounding Gaza, as well as next to bus stops, public buildings and various infrastructures in the area. With the development and sophistication of these deadly weapons of terror, enabling them to target communities deeper and deeper into Israel, shelters have also been placed in the streets of cities and towns further away from the Gaza border, such as Ashkelon, Netivot, Ofakim and elsewhere.

Making Security Beautiful

Many of these shelters have been decorated with paintings by local artists. The decoration of the shelters is intended to give them an aesthetic appearance,  to beautify the environment in which they are placed, rather than being an eyesore. The purpose of the paintings is also psychological: to make them look more child-friendly, less threatening, and to alleviate any negative effect their presence might have, on the children who need them for protective cover when the incoming rocket warnings blare out, and rockets explode nearby.

JNF's Role

Recognizing the significance of this project, good people from the JNF hired the talented artist Eliyassaf Meira and began fundraising late in 2018, to raise money to beautify more and more shelters, making them meaningful and attractive. As of April 2023, the JNF have funded the decoration of 250 such shelters, and are working hard to raise money for even more! We invite you to join us in this worthwhile endeavor.