NCSY ICE – Giving.

Hold onto that feeling. 

Urgency has gripped our nation – to give, to help, to support. People want to visit soldiers, attend funerals, and give, give, and give.

Urgency has gripped our family – the loss and anguish is palpable. Bereaved parents are visiting shiva homes and injured soldiers are visiting the hospitals – welcoming families into OneFamily.

The overwhelming feeling is that every piece of news of another soldier killed or another soldier injured is like a stab in our already wounded hearts.

This morning, we hosted NCSY ICE, a North American summer program visiting Israel.

The volunteers came from overseas and gave EXACTLY where is was needed.

I know you may expect that we had sent them to a hospital, or had them packing care packages, or maybe went to a shiva house.

But we didn’t – we organized for these 50 students to help six families in Jerusalem.

I told the volunteers to hold onto the feeling of urgency that is eating away at them right now and understand that the needs of each of these families are JUST AS IMPORTANT as visiting soldiers in hospitals, attending funerals, and sending care packages down to the front lines. They are at a different point in their narrative, but their needs to be supported are just as urgent.

Dani Chamni, was injured in the Bus 14 bus bombing in June 2003, has shrapnel wounds throughout his body, severe PTSD, and is unwell.

Tali Ben Yishai, lost her daughter, son-in-law, and three of their grandchildren in 2011 (Fogel Family and is now a mother to her three surviving grandchildren)

Tehila Ben Yishai, lost her sister, brother-in-law and three of her nephews in 2011 (Fogel Family)

Rachel Dvash, daughter Livnat was killed in Café Moment in March 2002 and her son was killed in an accidental shooting.  (has cancer)

Tzippora and Shlomo Ben-Shoham, daughter Limor was killed in Café Moment in March 2002  (both Tzippora and Shlomo have cancer)

Tali and Mordechai Amni, son Dan was killed in Café Moment in March 2002 and her son Chezi was killed in the first Lebanon War in 1982 (Mordechai has a kidney disease)

They helped Dani Chamni paint the stairwell in his house, Rachel Dvash plant in her garden and straighten up her home, Tehila Ben Yishai pack up her house to move, Tali Ben Yishai to organize her storage room, Tzippora and Shlomo Ben-Shoham clean their home… they listened, they looked at old photos, they hugged each other, and became friends.

I want you to hold onto that feeling, that feeling of urgency, that nauseating pit in your stomach – because your urgency to give right now IS THE SAME URGENCY OF NEED that families need three years, ten years,… 13 years after.

The loss and pain of losing a child or a sister, the excruciating pain of injuries and trauma – are wounds that never heal… you have to learn to cope and you learn to be resilient with open wounds. The families injured or bereaved of this week WILL have the same narrative of need as the families that NCSY ICE helped today. And for exactly that reason that families continue to need support – visits, phone calls, care packages, support groups, therapies, financial assistance – is the reason why OneFamily continues to exist.


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