What was the antidote for releasing bottled-up emotions and negative energies within hundreds of Israeli youngsters, victims of terrorism and war, who were desperate for a change in their daily routine and searching for a positive environment? OneFamily’s Youth Division in tandem with professional counselors created a fun-filled 6 day summer camp in July, where 260 children, ages 7-18, had an opportunity to forget about the tragedies that have wreaked havoc on their family unit.
The boys and girls were treated to the ultimate summer camp experience in Northern Israel…from horse-back riding, swimming, rafting & color war to a midnite kumzitz under the stars and much more.
Ben Berdichev, one of OneFamily’s clinical psychologists revealed, “These kids not only need to attend our camps in July, on Chanukah and Passover, they absolutely need to be with each other. No one can hold back what they feel inside forever. The fun part of the camp is important but just as critical is that this is the ONE place where they can expose their emotions to other kids (and us) who understand what they are going through and be there for each other. There is no other camp like this that I know of anywhere else.”
At the camp’s emotionally-charged general assembly ceremony at Kibbutz Tel Hai, Yishai, Dror and Uri Weinberg, whose father Dror was killed battling terrorists in Hebron 13 years ago, summed up what the summer camp had meant to them over the years. “For us and everyone in the camp, OneFamily has been like a home. A home that radiates freedom and lets you be who you are. It’s a home where it’s OK to cry or laugh…a home where it’s OK to engage in black humor, a place where it’s perfectly fine to fall apart a bit,” said Yishai. “Years go by and we all grow up. Some of us have reached the age where we will be leaving our ‘home’ (camp), be drafted into the army and soon will be building our own homes. Thus, parting ways is never easy. And yet, our ‘home’ will always be inside of us wherever we go.”