Ten years after the Second Intifada’s deadliest terror attack in which 30 people were killed and 140 injured at Seder night dinner in the Park Hotel, more than hundred victims and their families returned to the Netanya hotel for a memorial gathering and therapy session, part of their ongoing treatment and care at the OneFamily organization.
At the memorial service, attended by Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, the OneFamily Bereaved Fathers Choir sang verses from the Book of Psalms, Yair Hamami, whose father, the manager of the Park Hotel Amiram, was killed in the attack, recited the Kaddish prayer, and relatives of the victims lit memorial candles for their loved ones.
Amiram’s widow, Corrine Hamami, spoke about her determination to keep the hotel open despite the serious psychological barriers that lay in front of her: “Overnight I found myself alone with six children, I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I found strength in my family, I decided then that the terrorists would not defeat us”.
Dalia Falistian, whose parents were killed in the attack, was left completely alone in the world: “I had no other family, until a OneFamily representative came to visit me during my week of mourning. They became my family…”
OneFamily founder and Chairman Marc Belzberg says that “returning to the Park Hotel is an integral part of the healing and rehabilitation of the victims, offering them the opportunity to remember and display their resilience in the face of such tragedy..”
Over the last 10 years, OneFamily, recipient of the 2011 Presidential Citation for Volunteerism, has effected the rehabilitation of thousands of Israel’s 17,000 victims of terror. The organization provides material and rehabilitative support to anyone who has been bereaved, injured and/or recognized as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. They offer a tailor-made blend of financial assistance, therapeutic programs, legal assistance, personal encouragement and moral support.
It began after Chantal and Marc Belzberg’s then-12-year-old daughter decided to donate her Bat Mitzvah gifts to the victims of the 2001 Sbarro suicide bomb. Today, the organization employs 37 professionals and almost 750 volunteers in four centers around Israel. OneFamily, with the help of friends and supporters around the world, aims to assure continuity of care for terror victims into the next decade and beyond.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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