The Sderot Media Center, a project of The Sderot Information Center for the Western Negev Ltd, was pioneered to provide the people of Sderot and the Western Negev with an agency that would facilitate their human side of the story.
The Sderot Media Center acts as virtually the only media center in the entire western Negev region that serves the interests of the Jewish population in the area, complementing the massive western press coverage of Gaza, assisted by a plethora of Arab media relations professionals who facilitated press a coverage for their human side of the story throughout the past 20 years. The Sderot Media Center, in its on going coverage, witnesses a traumatized community which lives under then stress and strain of daily missile attacks for more than seven years, with no end in sight. Yet 80% of the people of Sderot, have decided to remain in Sderot, come what may.
In light of the mental health needs of Sderot, The Sderot Media Center has launched the Sderot Community Treatment Theater, to provide therapeutic community theater treatment for young people who have been diagnosed with symptoms of post traumatic stress syndrome, while working with these young people to present their reality to the people of Israel through the creative means of the theatre.
Community treatment theater as a therapeutic tool is not new to Israel. Community Treatment Theaters were spawned by the late Dr. Louis Miller, the director of the Department of Community Psychiatry in the Israel Ministry of Health in the 1970’s, and applied to community centers in poor neighborhoods throughout Israel in the 1970’s. Community Treatment Theaters reached out to disaffected immigrant youth in Israel who experienced the double trauma of being uprooted to Israel and then dumped in poverty stricken communities which seemed to offer no hope for their future. The Community Treatment Theater concept revolutionized therapy in Israel, while providing a dynamic way for young people to benefit from a sophisticated help that was not available to prior generations of Israelis.
THE OPERATION IN SDEROT
The Sderot Community Treatment Theater will provide as many community theater productions for the youth of Sderot as funds will be available. Each Sderot Community Treatment Theater production will be run by a theater professional, assisted by a professional with an advanced degree in social work, psychology or psychiatry. Each production will recruit 20-30 teenagers who have been diagnosed with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Each Sderot Community Treatment Theater group will be given the opportunity to perform in Israel and abroad. Each participant will have the feeling that he/she will undertake a mission to tell the world of the seemingly untold story of the traumatic human consequence what it is like to live in Sderot, under brutal siege from Gaza. Each performance will be filmed, and footage will be provided for the electronic media and for the film industry, in Israel and abroad. The estimated cost of each Sderot community treatment theater production will run at about $18,000. The time allotted for each production will be three months. The vision of the Sderot Community Treatment Theater is that as many as 15 productions can run simultaneously, if funds are available.