Rabbi Lau hanging the Mezuzah to Dedicate the new OneFamily Center in Jerusalem
As former Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau pressed the Mezuzah against the doorpost of OneFamily’s new Jerusalem Center, he prayed these words:
“Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to affix a mezuzah.”
His deep voice echoed centuries of tradition for which mezuzot have marked Jewish homes. Affixing the mezuzah, as was commanded in the Torah, is a declaration of faith and a symbol of G-d’s protection.
On May 16, with the blessing of Rabbi Lau, the OneFamily Center became a Home, and we opened our doors to Israel’s terror victims.
Victims of terror and OneFamily staff came together to celebrate the opening of our new OneFamily Center
The Center was conceived as a place where people traumatized by terror could come together and heal – where survivors could feel safe again and regain the strength they will need to continue their lives. Through the Center OneFamily will provide therapy for victims, host support groups and therapeutic workshops, offer a place where victims can rest and relax, and host OneFamily supporters from abroad who come to witness our work rebuilding shattered lives. It will be a place where children can come together with our youth counselors, use computers, watch television, and find people who understand the tragedy they’ve been through. And it will serve as the central base of operations for OneFamily’s management and staff.
OneFamily Legal Counsel Mickey Weinberg advises a victim of terror at the new OneFamly Center in Jerusalem
On hand to celebrate the dedication of the OneFamily Center were many members of our family – victims of terror, a mission of our supporters from the UK, former Finance Minister Benjamin Netenyahu, Rabbi Lau, Rabbi Motti Elon, MK Yitzchak Levy, Dr. Avshalom Kor, and several members of Knesset.
Benjamin Netenyahu enters the new OneFamily Center in Jerusalem
The day was full of activities for everyone. Outside our youth division entertained young victims of terror with drum circles, arts and crafts, cotton candy, popcorn, and other games. In the Center, bereaved mothers and widows joined an art therapy session making jewelry, while pairs from OneFamily’s Big Brother Program presented art projects they’d worked on together.
“Look what I made,” said 12-year-old Stav to everyone who entered the Social Hall decorated with each pair’s art work.
Stav and Michal pose with their Friendship Clock at the Big Brother Presentation
“It’s a friendship clock. I made it to show that I have the best time with my big sister Michal.
Michal, nearly 20, smiled and gave Stav a high five.
As the other young victims of terror presented their art work along with their big brothers and sisters, former Finance Minister Benjamin Netenyahu met with OneFamily supporters from the UK on a separate floor. The group of UK supporters were in Israel to meet victims of terror and Israeli dignitaries, and see OneFamily in action. They were guests of honor at the dedication.
OneFamily Co-Chair Chantal Belzberg guides supporters from the UK through our new Center
After Rabbi Lau affixed the mezuzah, everyone met for a ceremony in the courtyard. Avshalom Kor, a famous Israeli Doctor of Linguistics officiated. Rabbi Lau spoke about the courageous way he’s seen Israel’s terror victims respond to the attacks against them, and the need for the Jewish family in Israel and throughout the world to stand together.
Following Rabbi Lau, representatives of the UK mission, Clive and Naomi, addressed the crowd. They thanked OneFamily Chairmen Marc and Chantal Belzberg for the myriad acts of kindness they perform everyday on behalf of Israel’s terror victims.
“We traveled from the UK to be here today at the opening of the new OneFamily Center,” Clive said. “Our experience during our visit has not only reinforced our commitment to the wonderful work that’s being done, but we have been humbled over the last two days when we have seen the huge and long lasting good that is being constantly and freely offered to so many, under the non-stop efforts of Marc and Chantal Belzberg and the staff of OneFamily.”
Clive and Naomi address the crowd at the dedication ceremony
The dedication ceremony for OneFamily’s new Jerusalem Center ended after several hours with a singing of Israel’s National Anthem HaTikva – The Hope.
It is a fitting anthem for the Jewish people who’ve waited so long and given so much to make Israel their home again after two thousand years in exile. It is also a fitting anthem for the work of OneFamily.
The trauma of terror forces victims into a sort of exile – cutting them off from the lives they knew, the jobs they knew, even the friends they knew. Terror forces upon its victims, a whole new reality.
It is our goal at OneFamily to rebuild what terrorism has destroyed – to help victims and their families return to the lives they knew. For many recovery can seem like a dream. But as Herzl said, “If you will it, it is no dream.”
OneFamily staff with a young victim of terror at the dedication ceremony
The OneFamily Center in Jerusalem has been a dream of ours for a very long time. We hope that with this new home, we will be able to help Israel’s terror victims realize their own dreams.