March 30, 2020

From red alerts to the red carpet — a teen from Sderot speaks

Vitolda Nahshonov, 15, is one of 10 teens brought to Los Angeles from Sderot by the Israeli Leadership Club and the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles to share her story of what it’s like to live under constant attack from Qassam rockets. Nahshonov has lived in Sderot, near the border of Gaza, since the age of 2, and was chosen to be part of the group’s weeklong visit by the Israeli Leadership Club on the basis of her academic record and her ability to speak English. Nahshonov’s dream vacation/humanitarian tour was her first visit to the United States, and she took time to talk during a dinner at Universal CityWalk’s Hard Rock Cafe on the night before she and her group returned home to Sderot. What follows is an edited version of our conversation.

Jewish Journal: Why did you want to become a part of the “Live For Sderot” project?

Vitolda Nahshonov: To raise awareness. To tell people what is going on in our town. When I go out in Israel, outside of Sderot, people ask me where I’m from, and when I tell them Sderot, they ask, what’s Sderot? That’s where the Qassams fall. Oh, really? Yes. So if people in Israel don’t know what Sderot is, then what goes on outside of Israel?