Israel Victims of War (IVOW) Association is a Canadian charity based in Montreal that brings a group of Israeli bar and bat mitzvah-age kids from families affected by war or terrorism to Canada each summer.
The kids spend a month attending a Jewish community summer camp and visiting Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. About 100 kids were part of the IVOW group this year.
The IVOW group spent August 16 in Ottawa. They toured Parliament Hill, paid a visit to the Embassy of Israel and made their way to the Soloway Jewish Community Centre to play basketball and football in the gym, swim in the outdoor pool and enjoy a pizza dinner at Babi’s Restaurant.
The goal of IVOW, according to its website, is to “provide Israeli children living under difficult circumstances with a memorable and meaningful experience, and to strengthen the bond between Israel and the Canadian Jewish community.”
Gal Shachar, one of the IVOW kids, said she has greatly enjoyed her visit to Canada.
“Canada is very beautiful, and the camp was so much fun,” she said.
Moira Ben David, a project manager for IVOW, was one of the chaperones who accompanied the kids from Israel. She said she was along on the trip to “help the kids with everything they do,” and to document their activities for the IVOW newsletter.
“Our goal is to bring more kids on the trip next year, and to tell the children’s families why they should come back,” she said.
IVOW covers all costs of the Israeli children’s trip to Canada. For more information visit www.ivowassociation.ca.